Robbery conviction upheld in Pittston deliveryman case

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
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A Pittston man convicted of conspiring to rob a Domino’s deliveryman lost his challenge at overturning the verdict and sentence.

A three-member panel of the state Superior Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Travis Wade Matthews, 32, who is serving 10 1/2 to 21 years in prison for the robbery on Elizabeth Street, Pittston, on Jan. 5, 2017.

Pittston police alleged Matthews, Terry Williamson, 32, of Gouldsboro, and Sara Snee, 32, conspired to rob the deliveryman.

Police said Snee placed the order to be delivered to a dimly lit section of Elizabeth Street where Matthews and Williamson robbed Bruce Eckersley when he arrived with the order.

Eckersley initially told police two black men robbed him, with one of the suspects armed with a handgun.

Matthews, a white man, and Williamson, a black man, allegedly got away with $150 in cash, Eckersley’s iPhone, car keys and two pizzas.

Police traced the phone number used to place the order to Snee’s apartment on Winter Street, Pittston, where two children were eating pizza. A sticker of the Elizabeth Street address was affixed to the pizza boxes, and a Domino’s hot bag was found in a Dumpster near Snee’s apartment, according to court records.

During a trial before Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. in December 2017, Eckersley admitted he told police two black men robbed him, indicating he based his description on the tone of their voices.

A jury convicted Matthews on felony robbery and related charges.

Williamson and Snee pleaded guilty to conspiracy-related counts. Williamson was sentenced to 21 months to five years in prison, and Snee was sentenced to nine to 23 months followed by two years probation, court records say.

Matthews appealed the jury’s conviction to the state Superior Court, alleging he was falsely identified as one of the suspects because he is white and Eckersley claimed the two robbers were black.

The appellate court ruled the jury was free to decide on the testimony of Eckersley, who admitted he was scared and upset when he gave a statement to police.

Matthews also challenged his lengthy sentence, claiming Williamson was the person who held the handgun, which turned out to be a pellet gun.

“… Even assuming (Matthews) did not hold the deadly weapon during the offense, the evidence establishes that the deadly weapon was within his immediate control,” the Superior Court ruled in upholding Matthews’ conviction and sentence.

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By Ed Lewis

[email protected]