2013-10-31 / Front Page

Skidmore Sentenced In Pharmacy Robbery

Remanded to state correctional institution
By Chanin Rotz

Nathen Skidmore Nathen Skidmore NEWS EDITOR

A McConnellsburg man was remanded to the custody of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday to begin what will be a significant period of incarceration in a state correctional institution for robbing a borough pharmacy of multiple bottles of prescription medication.

Twenty-four-year-old Nathen Lee Skidmore was sentenced to between 16 1/2 years and 33 years in a state correctional institution for three counts of robbery with threat of serious bodily injury and one count of possession of a controlled substance in connection with the February 2 robbery of MacDonald’s Pharmacy located at 105 South Third Street.

Sentencing judge, Angela R. Krom of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas, pointed out that even after hearing from Skidmore, who read in part a prepared statement to the court, she never actually heard him accept responsibility for his actions and the terrorizing of three pharmacy employees.

She stated over the years Skidmore has attended nine different treatment facilities but was only successfully discharged from one. She added every local service has been exhausted but failed.

Krom went on to say that she also had concerns if Skidmore possesses the necessary tools to raise his 3-year-old daughter, who was in court Tuesday for sentencing proceedings. Krom referenced a photograph supplied to the court as evidence during Skidmore’s trial that depicted a hypodermic needle laying next to a crayon in his home located at 516 East Poplar Street.

Defense attorney Philip Harper related that Skidmore not only suffers from mental health issues but has been abusing drugs since the young age of 12. “He was probably a victim, being provided things he shouldn’t have,” Harper said. The defense attorney said those years of substance abuse, which ranged from pills and heroin to marijuana and crack cocaine, have taken a toll on his client physically, emotionally and mentally.

He suggested a sentence on the lower end of the sentencing guidelines pointing out that Skidmore could get treatment in less time as he would be actively participating in a controlled environment.

Skidmore told the court hind sight is 20-20, and he never realized how much he put the people he loves in harms way. He added that nothing was going to stop him from being the man he knows he can be.

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall said robbery is a strange offense in Fulton County, only occurring every couple years. “We are not hardened by it. We don’t want to be. We are shocked by it,” he said.

As part of the two-day trial held late September, Kendall presented the court with approximately 17 pieces of evidence. Among the items admitted into evidence was surveillance footage from the pharmacy located on South Third Street; a copy of Skidmore’s written confession as well as photos of pill stock bottles and clothing believed to have been worn during the robbery by Skidmore. Clothing items photographed included a dark hoodie, dark jeans, white sneakers and two white cloths. One cloth was used to hide the robbers face, while the remaining cloth was recorded by the store’s cameras as hanging from a pant’s pocket.

While the written confession at times contained gibberish and several lines were crossed out, state police testified they found several lines relevant such as that the robbery was Skidmore’s fault and that he had gone to the pharmacy. It was also pointed out that the majority of the words written in both the confession and the note given to the cashiers began with a capital letter.

The note that was given to the two pharmacy cashiers by the masked robber stated, “You have five seconds to put Ritalin, Aderal and Xanex in a bag before I kill you and everybody here! This is not a game. Test me!”

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