One of the two city men arrested in the attempted armed robbery of two plainclothes University Police officers last fall is still at large after failing to appear in court for his arraignment last semester. Twenty-year-old Melvin Gore, one of the five men connected with the attempted robbery, did not appear for his November arraignment, but one of his alleged accomplices, 19-year-old Omar Burnett, as well as numerous other suspects in University-area crimes are awaiting trials later this year. Burnett is scheduled for trial in March. In May, the city man accused of several fall stabbings around the campus will also go on trial, and the two men accused of running over a College senior during a robbery attempt in October, will be on trial in June. According to University Police, Gore and Burnett were part of a group of five men who tried to hold up two plainclothes officers on the 4100 block of Locust Street with what appeared to be a shotgun. The weapon turned out to be an axe handle painted to look like a shotgun. Police maintain Burnett was one of the men who approached the officers and Gore was the intended driver of the getaway car. When one of the officers shot Burnett in the hand the other three men fled and remain at large, police said. Laura Linton, director of Communications for the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, explained yesterday that "sign your own bail" means that Gore merely had to sign his name without actually paying any money. Only if Gore had used a gun would he have had to actually post cash bail. She added that the "sign your own bail" policy is a necessity due to prison overcrowding. Burnett appeared for his arraignment and is scheduled for trial on March 28th, but Gore remains a fugitive. Wayne Christian, a 30-year-old charged with a string of knifepoint robberies on and and near campus during late October and early November, is in prison and is awaiting trial on numerous counts of robbery. Linton said this week that Christian was in prison with bail set at $25,000. She said Christian was originally charged with three counts of robbery, but has since been charged with an additional three counts. She added that Christian will stand trial for the first three robberies on May 28th and for one of the additional counts on May 6th. Christian has not yet been arraigned on the rest of the robbery charges, she said. Mike Carroll, University Police's detective supervisor, said that after Christian was arrested and charged with the first three robberies, three other knifepoint robbery victims came forth and identified Christian as their assailant. Linton also said the two men charged with robbery, aggravated assault, and other crimes in connection with the October 19th robbery of College Junior Roberta Koeppel, are in prison on over $100,000 bail. Koeppel was seriously injured in the robbery when a van -- allegedly driven by 27-year-old Christopher Turner, and 23-year-old Allan Waters -- ran over her. Linton said a readiness conference is scheduled for Friday and the trial for June 4th.Comments powered by Disqus
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