Last sus­pect nabbed in Elk­ton rob­bery

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON


— The last of three sus­pects has been charged in an Elk­ton armed rob­bery that oc­curred in early April, one month af­ter one of those sus­pects was ac­quit­ted in an un­re­lated dou­ble-mur­der case, po­lice re­ported.

The third sus­pect, Ni­cole Fran­cis Burns, 35, of the 200 block of Lom­bard Road near Ris­ing Sun, is fac­ing nine charges, in­clud­ing rob­bery, sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, theft and mir­ror­ing con­spir­acy of­fenses, ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County Dis­trict Court records.

Burns is free on a $100,000 bond that she posted af­ter Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested her last week, court records show.

Burns stands ac­cused of rob­bing a man about 1:30 a.m. April 5 on Hunts­man Drive in Elk­ton, af­ter the vic­tim had agreed to give her and her al­leged ac­com­plices — Elk­ton res­i­dents Ni­c­hole Elaine Wil­son, 30, and Kevin Cooper, 25 — a ride to a nearby bar.

The rob­bery oc­curred shortly af­ter the vic­tim had given Burns and Wil­son a ride to Hunts­man Drive and shortly be­fore the women, now joined by Cooper, asked for a ride to the bar, a re­quest that the vic­tim obliged, po­lice said. The vic­tim had gone to Hunts­man drive to visit a friend, who was not at home, po­lice noted.

Af­ter get­ting into the man’s ve­hi­cle, Cooper po­si­tioned him­self in the front pas­sen­ger’s seat and a woman — now be­lieved to be Burns — got into a back seat, while Wil­son re­mained stand­ing out­side the car, po­lice said.

Cooper started punch­ing the vic­tim in the face and then the woman be­lieved to be Burns “put some­thing sharp against his neck,” po­lice added.

The sus­pects stole the man’s wal­let con­tain­ing $1,300, a driver’s li­cense and a debit card, and then they ran away and were last seen head­ing to­ward Road A in the ad­ja­cent Hollingsworth Manor neigh­bor­hood, po­lice re­ported.

EPD de­tec­tives con­fis­cated a cell­phone be­long­ing to one of the sus­pects, af­ter the vic­tim had snagged it away from one of the flee­ing fe­males who al­legedly had robbed him, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Charg­ing doc­u­ments al­lege that the cell phone showed a thread of text mes­sages in­di­cat­ing a plan among the three sus­pects to rob the vic­tim, who had “puffi­ness un­der his right eye as a re­sult of the as­sault.”

“These text mes­sages oc­curred only min­utes be­fore the rob­bery in which the vic­tim later ad­vised that he had given both fe­males a ride to Hunts­man (Drive) right be­fore he was robbed by them. Fur­ther­more, Burns’ cell records place her in the area dur­ing the time frame and show nu­mer­ous text mes­sages between her­self and Cooper af­ter the rob­bery,” EPD Det. Lind­sey Ziegen­fuss wrote in her ap­pli­ca­tion of prob­a­ble cause.

In the mo­ments be­fore the rob­bery, there also were text com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Burns and Wil­son, in­clud­ing one read­ing, “Let’s get him,” po­lice said.

Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested Cooper on April 6, a day later, af­ter the vic­tim iden­ti­fied


Cooper as one of the sus­pects when de­tec­tives showed him a photo lineup, court records show.

Charged with armed rob­bery, first-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and sev­eral other of­fenses, Cooper was held in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in lieu of $150,000 bond af­ter his ar­rest, ac­cord­ing to court records.

On March 6, ex­actly one month be­fore his ar­rest in this armed rob­bery case, Cooper was re­leased from that same county jail af­ter a Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court jury found him “not guilty” of two counts of first-de­gree mur­der and other charges at the con­clu­sion of week­long trial.

Cooper stood ac­cused of break­ing into a home in the 100 block of West Park­way in the Glen Farms neigh­bor­hood on the night of Feb. 22, 2015, and killing the home­own­ers, Earl Loomis, 79, and his wife, MaryAnn, 76, by as­phyx­i­at­ing them, be­fore steal­ing nu­mer­ous guns, credit cards, money and a pickup truck.

Cooper spent 11 days in the county jail af­ter his ar­rest in the armed rob­bery case, be­fore post­ing a $ 150,000 bond on April 17 to gain his pre- trial free­dom, court records show

But it was short- lived be- cause on April 20 — three days af­ter his jail re­lease — Cooper was right back in that de­ten­tion cen­ter, this time charged with fourth- de­gree house bur­glary and tres­pass­ing in con­nec­tion with an inci- dent that oc­curred in Elk­ton that day, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Cooper re­mained in the county jail on Tues­day in lieu of $5,000 bond in that bur­glary case, court records show.

Charged with rob­bery, theft and four other of­fenses in the Hunts­man Drive rob­bery case, Wil­son also re­mained in the county jail on Tues­day in lieu of $60,000 bond, ac­cord­ing to court records.


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