Inmate charged with armed home invasion in Wilkes-Barre last summer

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Hartnett -

WILKES-BARRE — A city man recently sentenced to state prison for a robbery in Wilkes-Barre a year ago is now facing charges related to an armed home invasion.

City police allege Richard Gary Hartnett Jr., 34, concealed his face with a T-shirt and was armed with a handgun when he forced open a door and entered a residence on Thompson Street last Aug. 23.

Once inside, Hartnett confronted James Brewington, who was on a couch watching television with his infant son.

Brewington recognized Hartnett when the shirt fell from his face, according to court records.

Brewington claimed Hartnett was inside his residence a few weeks before the robbery.

On March 9, Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough sentenced Hartnett to two to four years in state prison on a robbery charge filed by city police related to an incident on July 23, 2017, records show. Hartnett is currently housed at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy in Schuylkill County, according to the state Department of Corrections.

According to a criminal complaint:

Brewington was on his couch when he heard a loud noise at his rear door at about 12:13 a.m. Aug. 23. When Brewington got up, he was confronted by Hartnett.

Brewington’s infant child was also in the living room.

He claimed Hartnett held a handgun to his head and instructed him not to move.

Hartnett picked up two cell phones, and disconnected a 55-inch flat screen television he carried out of the residence.

As Hartnett was disconnecting the television, the shirt fell from his face, allowing Brewington to recognize him.

Brewington told police Hartnett sped away in a vehicle that was parked in an alley behind his home.

Police said a surveillance camera recorded the vehicle.

Brewington claimed Hartnett was inside his residence a few weeks before the robbery, and Hartnett used his cell phone to sign into Facebook.

Hartnett is facing charges of robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment. He is set to be arraigned in the near future via video conference.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]