Robert Hughes Murders 2 In Pennsylvania

Robert Hughes was sentenced to death by the State of Pennsylvania for a double murder

According to court documents Robert Hughes would rob a McDonald’s restaurant where he would shoot and kill two people during the robbery: restaurant manager Jean Reider, 41, of Newark, Del., and employee Charles Hegarty, 46, of East Goshen, Pa.

Robert Hughes would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Robert Hughes Photos

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Robert Hughes Now

Parole Number: 8144V
Age: 54
Date of Birth: 12/30/1968
Race/Ethnicity: WHITE
Height: 6′ 01″
Gender: MALE
Citizenship: USA
Complexion: LIGHT
Current Location: PHOENIX

Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: CHESTER

Robert Hughes Case

On January 8, 1989, two employees of the McDonald’s restaurant located in the Parkway Shopping Center in West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, were found murdered, each by a single gunshot wound to the head. On that date, at approximately 5:15 a.m., James Jenkins was delivering newspapers at the shopping center when he noticed a blue and white automobile in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant. Upon being shown a photograph of appellant’s car, Mr. Jenkins was of the opinion that the car depicted in the photograph was identical to the one he saw in the parking lot on the day of the murders.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. that same morning, an employee of the McDonald’s, Brian Burnette, arrived for work. As he was about to enter the building, he noticed a man standing inside the restaurant waving a gun in the direction of the manager, Jean Reider, who was carrying cash drawers from the safe and placing them on the counter.

Another employee, Brian Titus, also arrived at approximately 5:30 a.m. As he entered a door to the restaurant, he noticed a person lying on the floor in front of a desk that was *362 located next to the safe who was signaling for Titus to leave the restaurant. Titus also observed a person, approximately six feet tall, standing inside the restaurant with arms extended as though holding something in his hand. Both Titus and Burnette then went to a nearby store to call the police.

When the police arrived at the scene, they discovered the bodies of Charles Hegarty and Jean Reider. The body of Charles Hegarty was found in the exact location where Brian Titus had seen someone lying earlier. Jean Reider’s body was found in the corner of a room. The blood stains on the wall indicated that she had been shot while sitting with her legs crossed and curled up. The safe was open and the cash drawers had been taken out and left on the floor. No money was left in the cash drawers except for some rolls of coins. Six crumpled one dollar bills were found next to a dumpster outside the McDonald’s.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. that same morning, Steven Quigley, proprietor of a local towing business, received a telephone call from a man who asked to be picked up at the Abbey Green Motel which is located approximately six tenths of a mile south of the McDonald’s restaurant. The man requested that Quigley tow the man’s blue Plymouth to Jack Wolf’s Sunoco so that it could be repaired. When Quigley asked the man why he did not use Wolf’s tow trucks, the man responded that all of Jack Wolf’s tow trucks were out and unavailable. However, when Quigley drove past Wolf’s Sunoco he observed that all of Wolf’s tow trucks were in, not out as the caller had indicated.

When Quigley arrived at the Abbey Green Motel at approximately 6:50 a.m., appellant appeared from between the buildings. As he walked to Quigley’s truck, appellant was holding his side with his arm as though he was either hiding something or hurt. When Quigley asked appellant where his car was parked, appellant responded that the Birmingham Township police had towed it. Quigley suspected that was not true as he, himself, performed all towing work for the Birmingham Township police. Moreover, Quigley knew that the Abbey Green Motel was not located in Birmingham Township. Nevertheless, *363 Quigley agreed to drive appellant to the Tally Ho Motel in New Castle County, Delaware. Upon their arrival there, appellant paid Quigley the sum of $25.00 in crumpled five dollar bills. Quigley last saw appellant speaking with the desk clerk at the Tally Ho.

After requesting the desk clerk to call a cab for him, appellant then went to an adjacent Wawa Market to purchase a soda. Appellant left the Wawa Market after purchasing the soda, but returned shortly thereafter requesting a paper bag. Appellant then took a cab to the Clemente bus station located in Wilmington, Delaware.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. that same morning, Officers Cottingham and Boyd of the Wilmington Police Department, while on routine patrol, received a radio broadcast dispatching them to the area of the Clemente Bus station to look for a possible fugitive from Pennsylvania who was wanted for an outstanding warrant. The officers arrived at the bus station and after noticing no one in the waiting room area of the station matching the description broadcast over the radio, one of the officers entered the men’s restroom. Once in the restroom, the officer noticed someone matching the description. The officer then exited the restroom and informed his partner that he believed the suspect was in the restroom. They then radioed for backup assistance. As appellant exited the restroom, Officer Boyd asked him his name and after appellant responded in a hostile manner, Officer Boyd explained to appellant that they were looking for a fugitive from Pennsylvania. Appellant remained hostile, refusing to comply with any of the officers’ requests. A struggle ensued during which a .38 revolver fell from appellant’s pocket. As all three struggled to retrieve the gun, Officer Boyd struck appellant with his blackjack. Appellant was eventually transported to a hospital as a result of injuries he incurred during the struggle. Upon his arrest, appellant had in his possession a Wawa bag and a Colt 6 shot revolver.

Upon examination of the Colt revolver, Officer Cannon of the Wilmington Police Department observed two spent cartridges as well as four live rounds of .38 caliber ammunition. *364 The Wawa bag seized from appellant contained a blue American Bank bag in which was found various papers subsequently determined to have been taken from the McDonald’s restaurant, as well as a sum of money. The Wawa bag contained a second bank bag inside of which was found another sum of money. Six live .38 caliber special ammunition were seized from the right pocket of the jacket appellant was wearing.

While at the hospital, appellant, after having been read his Miranda rights, was advised that he was a suspect in a double homicide and robbery which had occurred at the McDonald’s restaurant to which he responded, “If I knew I was being arrested, it would have been your life.” Appellant also stated that the revolver had been purchased by him at a gun shop in Malvern, Pennsylvania. He claimed, however, that the bullets had been spent at a park. He then told the police that his name was “Tony” and that the money in his possession belonged to him, part of which he claimed to have received from a man by the name of John Rodriguez. Appellant described John Rodriguez as a twenty-five year old Puerto Rican male and claimed that he had previously telephoned Rodriguez to arrange a meeting that morning at the Wawa near the Tally Ho Motel so that Rodriguez could pay appellant the money, in partial satisfaction of a debt. Contrary to appellant’s assertions, however, the records obtained for appellant’s home telephone did not reflect any calls to Rodriguez. Moreover, the clerk who attended to appellant that morning at the Wawa Market did not see any Puerto Rican male in the presence of appellant.

https://law.justia.com/cases/pennsylvania/supreme-court/1994/536-pa-355-1.html

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