Meadville Tribune

September 13, 2013

Ferguson convicted in string of early-morning bar robberies

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A Meadville area man has been convicted in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas of more than 40 counts in connection with a series of armed tavern robberies in the area in 2012 and for assaulting his co-conspirator.

Michael D. Ferguson, 38, of 9662 Kennedy Hill Road, Meadville, was convicted Thursday of the early-morning armed robberies of three area taverns in 2012 — The Owl’s Nest near Saegertown on July 22; Nate’s Bar and Grill in Greenwood Township on July 22; and the Double D Bar in Venango on July 30.

Ferguson also was convicted of simple assault and harassment for assaulting his co-conspirator, Harry Boyer Jr., at the Crawford County jail on Aug. 28, 2012, following their arrest.

Ferguson now faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in jail for each of three first-degree felony robbery convictions, since a firearm was used plus jail time for all the other charges, according to Paula DiGiacomo, Crawford County first assistant district attorney. DiGiacomo handled the prosecution of the case.

Boyer drove Ferguson to and from all three taverns to commit the robberies while Ferguson entered all three taverns and demanded money while wielding a shotgun.

The robbery and assault cases against Ferguson were joined at trial in county court.

It took a jury of four men and eight women about an hour and 15 minutes of deliberation to return with the guilty verdict for Ferguson on all counts on Thursday, DiGiacomo said. DiGiacomo handled the prosecution of the case.

Ferguson was convicted of a total of 42 counts in the robbery case — three counts each of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, terroristic threats and firearm possession violation; 12 counts each of reckless endangerment and simple assault; five counts of theft by unlawful taking; and one count of attempted theft by unlawful taking.

Ferguson was convicted of simple assault and harassment in the assault case.

Boyer pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison.

Ferguson was returned to the Crawford County jail following his conviction and faces sentencing by President Judge Anthony J. Vardaro on Nov. 4.

Meanwhile, Ferguson also is scheduled to go on trial next week in county court on Pennsylvania State Police charges for allegedly altering the registration number and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.