Jewel Robber Pleads Guilty, Gets Married, Goes To Jail

Convicted In Marley Heist, He Tells Judge 'I Did' And Girlfriend 'i Do'

October 23, 1990|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff writer

When Terrance Lynn McGraw pleaded guilty yesterday to pulling a million-dollar armed robbery at two Marley Station jewelry stores, the judge told him he faces up to 93 years in prison.

Twenty minutes later, he got married.

McGraw and his 27-year-old bride, the former Linda Lee Marshall, declined to comment -- on the criminal case or their wedding, which took place behind a locked door in the marriage room in the Circuit Court building in Annapolis.

As a bride-to-be, Marshall had listened quietly as a prosecutor described McGraw as the ringleader in the ill-fated heist last April.

McGraw was one of three Virginia men who pleaded guilty to armed robbery, conspiracy and handgun violations yesterday. All will be sentenced Jan. 28.

A fourth man is due in court Nov. 1 to answer similar charges. McGraw also pleaded guilty yesterday to false imprisonment and malicious destruction of property.

Each man had faced 36 charges stemming from the April 30 robberies at Shaw's Jewelers and Bailey Banks & Biddle Jewelers. Assistant States Attorney Frederick M. Paone told the court that four men armed with handguns split into teams of two and used identical methods to simultaneously rob the stores at about 10:30 that morning.

Paone said the men wore "wigs and makeup and various and other sundry forms of cosmetics to alter their appearances."

The prosecutor said the men herded employees and customers into back rooms and ordered store managers to empty the contents of display cases into bags. He said about $400,000 in jewels was taken from Shaws, and another $600,000 to $700,000 worth was taken from Bailey Banks & Biddle.

But luck was not on the side of the robbers, as security guards alerted two off-duty county police detectives who happened to be entering the mall.

Within minutes, the detectives and other county officers were chasing a van through a neighborhood across Ritchie Highway from the mall.

During the chase the men accosted a woman who pulled into her driveway on Phelps Avenue, attempted to steal her car and then break into her house.

Paone said McGraw shot the lock off the door of the house -- "It was like something out of the wild west," the prosecutor told the court.

Three of the men were arrested, and the fourth was arrested later in Florida. The men told police McGraw had recruited them for the robbery, which had been planned several days earlier.

Nearly all of the jewelry was recovered in the van, Paone said.

Scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28 are: McGraw, 29, of Annandale, Va.; Kenneth Robert Pittman, 29, of Burke, Va.; and Elie Emile Azar, 27, of Alexandria, Va.

Stephen Owens, 38, of Mount Airy, is the fourth man charged in the robbery.

All are being held at the County Detention Center. Court records show Azar is named in an arrest warrant charging him with armed robbery in Frederick County. Paone told the court that one of the defendants also is a suspect in an armed robbery in Anne Arundel County.

After the hearing, the three men, handcuffed to one another, were allowed to meet briefly with loved ones. McGraw and his fiancee, who is also from Annandale, kissed.

The bride-to-be then walked to the court's licensing office, where she paid $35 for a marriage license. A sheriff's deputy led the prospective groom, with wrists and ankles cuffed, to the marriage room. There, John B.

Wilkinson Jr., supervisor of accounting in the courthouse, joined the couple in marriage.

The bride wore a black dress with white collar. The groom wore a black suit, white shirt and a black tie.

After the ceremony, the couple walked hand-in-hand down a corridor, a sheriff's deputy by their side. They kissed goodbye and the deputy took McGraw back to his cell.

McGraw's attorney then escorted the bride from the courthouse.

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