F&M Robber Gets State Time
A McConnellsburg man was sentenced this week to time in a state correctional institution for the robbery of the Penn’s Village, Mc- Connellsburg branch of F&M Trust.
In the minutes prior to sentencing on November 6, Aaron Lee Deneen of 380 Lions Park Drive told Judge Douglas Herman he was issuing a public apology to both the community and the victims. He went on to say that he wouldn’t have done what he did if it wasn’t for his ongoing heroin addiction.
Deneen was taken into custody several days after robbing the Ayr Township-based bank on August 28. At 2:39 p.m. he reportedly handed a female teller a handwritten note stating “give me what you have and you will not get hurt.” Deneen walked away with $6,692 in cash, which was used in part to purchase drugs.
Deneen was quickly identified as the robber as he made no attempt to conceal his identity from bank officials. He wore no mask and was said to have been been wearing a grey hoodie, black shorts, a baseball hat and sunglasses. He did not use or display a weapon during the heist.
In court this Tuesday, Deneen outlined his prior achievement of successfully completing the state intermediate punishment (SIP) program and how his most recent period of incarceration allowed him the time needed to obtain his GED.
“When someone pushes me to do things, I do it,” the 27-year-old said. He added in the future he will reach out and ask for help instead of keeping it inside.
Judge Herman pointed out addiction is simply not vanquished by one good program, such as SIP, and that the individual involved must have enormous dedication. In looking at this particular situation, the judge said he must weigh public safety against Deneen’s internal reflections and willingness to accept responsibility.
Herman further said that people have been harmed psychologically through the bank heist and made repeated references to the fear and trauma for those involved.
According to Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall, help has been offered from throughout the community since the time Deneen was a juvenile. The most recent assistance was given through SIP after he was sentenced for stealing a gun from a McConnellsburg gun shop.
Ironically, Kendall said the robbery occurred only a stone’s throw away from where the gun was stolen. While Kendall noted Deneen was a heroin addict, the district attorney said he stood before the court that day for robbing a bank.
Herman ordered Deneen to undergo incarceration in a state correctional institution for 27 to 84 months. He was given credit for time served since August 31. Furthermore, he is slated to be assessed for drug and alcohol treatment and undergo random testing. He must refrain from contacting the employees of F&M Trust.