It took nearly as long to read the verdict as it did for a Washington County Circuit Court jury to deliberate Tuesday in the case of a former state prison inmate charged with attempting to rob Motel 6 on Massey Boulevard in January.
A few minutes after the state and defense finished closing arguments, the jury came back with a verdict, convicting Troy Antoine Frazier, 50, of 512 W. Church St., Hagerstown, on 13 of 14 counts, including attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, use of a handgun in a crime of violence, first-degree assault and illegally carrying a handgun. The jury acquitted Frazier of transporting a handgun in a vehicle.
Frazier still faces trials for allegedly robbing the Salem Avenue 7-Eleven on Jan. 6 and Wayne’s Country Store on Jan. 5. Trials are scheduled for August and September in those cases.
Frazier was released from prison Dec. 20, 2011, and was on parole at the time of his arrest, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on Jan. 7, a man with a handgun entered Motel 6 and told night auditor Faree Lambray to “Give me your money, baby,” Lambray testified.
Lambray testified the man pointed a handgun through a slot in the night window, but she ran to her office and called police.
Surveillance video showed the gunman inside, but an outside camera showed two men outside the building.
The person next to Sean Eric Scott, 41, of no fixed address, in the surveillance photo was Frazier, Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack told the jury during his closing arguments.
Defense attorney Bernard W. Semler II said in his opening statements that the quality of the surveillance video was not good enough to positively identify Frazier.
Frazier was arrested a few days later and interviewed, Washington County Sheriff’s Detective David Sanders testified. During the interview, Frazier was shown still images from the video and identified one of the men as Sean Scott, who also was charged in the Motel 6 case.
April Ritch testified that she drove Scott and Frazier to a store near the motel, but Scott thought it was too well lit. Ritch testified she then drove to a McDonald’s near the motel, and Scott and Frazier got out of the vehicle.
They returned a short time later, and Scott mentioned a scared woman and placing a gun on a counter, Ritch testified. Not wanting to be involved, she drove them back to the house on West Church Street, she testified.
Ritch identified Frazier from the witness stand, but Semler II noted on cross-examination that she had been unable to pick Frazier out from a photo array just days after the attempted holdup.
“I’d never seen a photograph of him,” Ritch testified. “This is the Troy I remember,” she testified, indicating Frazier.
“This case screams out for the danger of misidentification,” Semler told the jury in his closing arguments.
Lambray was never asked to look at a photo lineup, Ritch could not pick Frazier from one, and there was no gun found or forensic evidence such as DNA or fingerprints to tie Frazier to the incident, Semler said.
Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. delayed sentencing. The maximum sentences for two of the charges — attempted armed robbery and use of a handgun in crime of violence — could total up to 45 years in prison.
McCormack told Long that Frazier has a long history of robbery dating to the 1980s.