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Ohio residents admit role in rest-area robbery

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two Ohio residents admitted Monday to their roles in the robbery of an elderly woman in a rest stop bathroom off the West Virginia Turnpike.

Bradley A. Molden, 40, of Newark, and Stephanie K. Hammel, 45, of Utica, each pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery Monday in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Hammel admitted that on Sept. 4 of last year, he followed Carolyn Boster, 75, into the bathroom of a rest stop at the 69-mile marker off the turnpike. Hammel snatched Boster's purse and attempted to flee, but the elderly victim stopped her before she reached the door, prosecutors said.

Hammel kicked Boster in the shin, causing the woman to fall to the ground and hit her head. But the elderly woman got up and chased after her, prosecutors said.

Molden was waiting for Hammel outside the rest stop in his truck. They fled before State Police troopers stopped them several miles away, prosecutors said.

Boster was not severely injured in the altercation.

Molden and Hammel will be sentenced on Feb. 15.

Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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