Mercer County man pleads guilty to 2011 deadly robbery at Farrell market

Monday, June 30, 2014

PITTSBURGH-A Mercer County man. pleaded guilty and received sentenced in federal court this month on charges of violating federal Hobbs Act conspiracy and Hobbs Act robbery laws.

United States Attorney David J. Hickton in Pittsburgh announced on Monday that Joshua Stewart of  Farrell's pleaded guilty to robbing the B&M Market in Farrell on Dec. 20, 2011.  Stewart, who is serving two life sentences for murder relating to the December, 2011 killing of Farrell bar owner William Basilone, Jr., pled guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court learned that on Dec. 20, 2011, Stewart, acting together with another, entered the B&M Market, a local convenience store. Upon entering the store, Stewart's co-conspirator, using force and intimidation, demanded that the store owner open his register and hand over more than $100 in cash. While the co-conspirator did this, Stewart kept watch and served as a "lookout," making sure that the police did not come in the store. In addition, Stewart stole cigarettes from the store. After these items were taken, both robbers fled from the store.

Subsequent to pleading guilty, Stewart waived a pre-sentence report and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Under the terms of the plea agreement, this sentence is to be served concurrently with Stewart's life sentence for murder. In September, 2013, a jury in Mercer County convicted Stewart of murdering Basilone. The remaining five years of Campbell's federal sentence is to be served consecutively to Campbell's state court murder sentence.

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