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UPDATE: West Hamlin Woman Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Robberies

By: Rahel Solomon, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Rahel Solomon, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 1/10/13 6:22 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Lincoln County woman who robbed a nursing home and bank in May has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison.

Morgan Mullins,26, of West Hamlin was sentenced during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Charleston on Thursday. Besides the prison time, Mullins will also have to pay $3,317.58 in restitution

Last May, Mullins robbed the Teays Valley Center Nursing Home wearing a clown mask. Later that month, she robbed a City National Bank in West Hamlin of $3,000.

In August, Mullins pleaded guilty to a federal bank robbery charge and a state armed robbery charge.

In court Thursday, Mullins tearfully addressed the victims of the crimes and her family saying she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incidents . "It's not the person I am," Mullins said.

Victims of the crimes also had a chance to speak out. Both victims who spoke said though months have passed since the crimes, they are still terrified. One said every night she sleeps with the light on.

U.S. District Attorney Booth Goodwin said prescription drug abuse is a major problem in this area. He said he hopes cases like this will deter others from committing similar crimes.

"The crimes of the defendant were shocking and now she's going to have ten years to think about the effects of her crimes," Goodwin said. "As the court indicated this sentence was designed to serve as a deterrent to others who would engage in similar conduct."

Mullins said in court her addiction to prescription drugs contributed to the robberies.

UPDATE 1/10/13 8:15 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Hamlin woman who admitted to armed robberies at a bank and a nursing home is set to be sentenced in federal court in Charleston Thursday afternoon

Morgan Mullins faces at least seven years in prison and a $750,000 fine when she is sentenced.

Mullins pleaded guilty last year to a federal bank robbery charge and a state armed robbery charge. She admitted to stealing prescription painkillers and other controlled substances May 2 from the Teays Valley Center nursing home in Hurricane where she worked.

Mullins also admitted that on May 22 she robbed a City National Bank branch in West Hamlin of $3,000.

Mullins said she had been addicted to oxycodone for more than three years.



UPDATE 8/8/12 @ 2:40 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman from Lincoln County has pleaded guilty to robbing co-workers at a Hurricane nursing home of prescription drugs, and a Lincoln County bank of more than $3,000.

During a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston, Morgan Marie Mullins, 26, of West Hamlin, pleaded guilty to interfering with commerce by threats of violence, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and armed bank robbery.

Mullins faces a mandatory minimum of seven years and up to life in prison, plus a $750,000 fine when she is sentenced on December 5.

Mullins admitted that on May 2 she robbed on-duty employees at the Teays Valley Center nursing home of numerous medications including prescription painkillers.

Mullins was employed at the nursing home at the time of the robbery.

Police said she was dressed like a clown during that robbery.

Mullins also pleaded guilty to robbing the City National Bank in West Hamlin on May 22.

The day following the bank robbery, Mullins confessed both robberies to police.

She also said she was addicted to Oxycodone.



UPDATE 6/19/11 @ 9:40 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Lincoln County woman suspected of armed robbery at a nursing home and a bank has been indicted by a federal grand jury, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's Office.

A federal grand jury sitting in Charleston returned a six-count indictment Tuesday. It charges Morgan Marie Mullins, 26, of West Hamlin, W.Va., with federal armed robbery.

The indictment charges Mullins with the May 2, 2012, federal armed robbery of the Teays Valley Center nursing home located in Hurricane, W.Va. The indictment alleges that Mullins robbed the nursing home of numerous controlled substances including prescription painkillers.

The suspect who robbed the nursing home was dressed at the time as a clown.

The indictment also charges Mullins with one count of federal armed bank robbery. The indictment alleges that on May 22, 2012, Mullins robbed the City National Bank in West Hamlin, Lincoln County, W.Va. of $3,000 cash. Mullins allegedly used a 9-millimeter pistol during the bank robbery.

The indictment also charges Mullins with two counts of being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. It is alleged that on May 2 and May 22, 2012, Mullins did knowingly possess a 9-millimeter pistol and at the time was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.

Mullins faces a mandatory minimum of 32 years (7 years on Count Two and 25 years on Count Five as listed in the indictment) and up to life in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted on all charges.



UPDATE 6/4/12 @ 6:50 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman accused of dressing as a clown and robbing a nursing home is now in an orange jump suit waiting for her case to be presented to the grand jury.

A detective testified Monday in court that Morgan Mullins confessed to the robbery after being put in cuffs for allegedly robbing a bank in West Hamlin in Lincoln County.

Detectives say Mullins told them in both robberies she had a gun, but it wasn't loaded.

The magistrate found probable cause to send Mullins' case to the grand jury.

Mullins was a suspect who was first thought to be a man. Police say she broke in to the Teays Valley Center nursing home in Hurricane and held two nurses at gunpoint. Investigators say Mullins demanded pills.

Mullins used to be an employee at that nursing home. Investigators say she dressed as a clown when she robbed the place and later ditched the mask, along with a medication log book, in the Ohio River in Huntington.

She was charged with first-degree robbery. Mullins was also recently indicted on federal bank robbery charges. She remains in jail without bond.



UPDATE 5/24/12 @ 6:50 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman is in jail following two armed robberies in two counties this month.

Police say money and pills is the motivation behind the crimes following a collaborative investigation that hit a major break Wednesday night.

Morgan Marie Mullins, 26, was arrested at a relative's home in West Hamlin in Lincoln County by West Virginia State Police troopers.

Mullins is accused of barging through the door, armed with a gun and demanding cash at the City National Bank about 1 p.m. Tuesday. Police say the suspect made off with more $3,000 dollars.

The suspect was first thought to be a man, but through extensive police work and video evidence, the clues led to an arrest and was determined it was a woman.

Mullins has no criminal history, according to police.

Dozens of miles away, at a nursing home in Putnam County many are still on edge. Detectives there say someone dressed as a clown with a hispanic accent broke in a back window, pulled out a gun and demanded pills.

"It's scary when you've got a loved one in here and you hope they're being taken care of properly," Cheryl Slater said.

"You might say get all your ducks in a row before you go for the homerun," Putnam County Sheriff Mark Smith said.

State Police, the FBI and Putnam Sheriff's deputies hit that homerun by connecting the dots and figuring out the nursing home robber was the same woman.

When detectives confronted Mullins, she confessed. Mullins told police she left work and sat in the TA Travel Center parking lot for nearly two hours. It was later than claims she went back to rob the Teays Valley Nursing and Rehab Center for pills.

Police were not surprised the two incidents were connected and suspected the nursing home robbery could have been an inside job.

"We're relatively certain this whole thing is drug related," Sheriff Smith said. "They're trying to either steal drugs or trying to steal something material-wise or money-wise in order to buy drugs."

Mullins still technically still works at the nursing home, but officials there say she has been suspended. She did take an extended leave of absence following the robbery, which seemed suspicious to investigators.

"It surprises me that there are people out there like that," Iva Griffith said. "It's just a shame."

The disguise and fake accent is what detectives say helped the suspect pull off the first robbery, but now the circus show has come to an end in a jail cell.

Mullins has been charged with two counts of first degree robbery -- one in Lincoln County and one in Putnam County.

No one was hurt during either of the robberies. Police say the gun was not loaded in either of those crimes.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest.



UPDATE 5/23/12 @ 11:50 p.m.
LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman is facing charges in connection with a bank robbery in Hamlin on Tuesday.

West Virginia State Police in Hamlin tell WSAZ.com Morgan Marie Mullins, 26, was arrested just before 11 p.m. Wednesday at her home in West Hamlin.

The robbery happened at the City National Bank in West Hamlin about 1 p.m. Tuesday. The robber was first thought to have been a man -- but troopers say Mullins is the suspect.

She is accused of walking into the bank with a gun and demanding cash. She was able to get away with $3,003.

While in custody, Mullins also admitted to robbing Teays Valley Nursing and Rehab Center in Hurricane earlier this month -- dressed as a clown.

Prescription drugs were the target of the nursing home robbery.

No one was hurt during either of the robberies.

Mullins is charged with armed robbery.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/23/12 @ 11:20 a.m.
LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- State Police are still looking for an armed bank robber who got away with thousands of dollars in cash in Lincoln County.

The robbery happened about 1 p.m. Tuesday at the City National Bank in West Hamlin.

State Police tell WSAZ.com that the suspect walked into the bank waving a pistol and demanded money. He was able to get $3,003.

Before fleeing the bank on foot, Trooper S.L. Bartram says the suspect dropped the money and when he leaned over to get it, the clerks saw either a Pittsburgh Steelers shirt or undergarments.

The suspect is described as a man about 5'6" tall with a very slim build. He was wearing blue jeans, a light gray hoodie and a mask.

No one was hurt in the robbery.

State Police tell WSAZ.com that he ran away from the scene.

Call West Virginia State Police if you have any information.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/22/12 @ 1:06 p.m.
WEST HAMLIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police are searching for a suspect following a bank robbery in Lincoln County.

The robbery happened at the City National Bank in West Hamlin just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Dispatchers say the suspect walked into the bank with a gun and demanded money.

W.Va. State Police tell WSAZ.com the man was 5'6” with a very slim build. He was wearing blue jeans, a light gray hoodie and a mask.

The man is believed to have taken off in a vehicle, with a female driver. Investigators have not been able to determine what kind of vehicle they are in.

No word if the pair drove towards Huntington or Logan.

No one was hurt in the incident.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/2/12 @ 6:45 p.m.
HURRICANE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man dressed as a clown is being blamed for an armed robbery at a nursing home in Hurricane.

Putnam County Sheriff's deputies tell WSAZ.com the robbery suspect was dressed from head to toe in a costume and was after prescription drugs.

It happened about 1 a.m. Wednesday at Genesis Healthcare, Teays Valley Nursing and Rehab Center along North Poplar Fork Road.

Quiet and fairly secluded, this peaceful nursing home became the target for a masked man on a mission.

Patients and employees inside the nursing home were either asleep or unaware of what was happening.

"I just thought it was kind of odd this is off of the beaten path; this is kind of out of the way," visitor Rick Withrow said. "I told my wife this might have been planned by someone."

"There's alarms on the doors and you have to have a code to get in," nurse Roger Copley said. "The alarms were activated, I guess."

Police say this clever clown broke through a back bathroom window; he was dressed in scrubs, rubber shoes and a clown mask.

Detectives say he wielded a gun and was not afraid to point it at a nearby nurse -- ordering her to get on the ground.

"If that would have been me, I wouldn't have fought back," Copley said. "I just would have given him whatever he wanted so he would have left me alone."

Deputies say the motive was prescription pills and drugs. Police say the suspect demanded the pills and stole them from the nurses cart before running out the same window he came in.

"It's very scary because when people are on those drugs they do things that they normally wouldn't do," minister James Bolen said. "That's the reason they need to be taken out of the hands of people that's not responsible."

"Security is always an issue," visitor Carol Wright said. "I guess they need to take a look at that and make sure they tighten up on that."

Peace of mind has been robbed, along with dozens of pills at a place that's always been seen as a safe haven -- leaving many thinking twice.

A witness tells police the man dressed as a clown had a Spanish accent. Detectives have been interviewing and trying to get more information to crack the case.

The nursing home did issue a statement Wednesday, explaining it is concerned about the robbery and are taking extra precautions to prevent any similar situations.

If you know anything that could help detectives, give the Putnam County Sheriff's Department a call at 304-586-0256.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for more on this developing story.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/2/12
HURRICANE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Putnam County Sheriff's deputies are searching for the man responsible for an armed robbery at the Teays Valley Nursing and Rehab center on North Poplar Fork Road.

It happened just after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Deputies say a man with his face painted like a clown broke into the facility through a back window.

He had a gun and forced an employee to the ground.

Deputies say they believe he then robbed the building, although they're not sure what he got away with.

He later escaped through the same window.

Hurricane, Milton, St. Albans and Nitro police were on the scene, along with state troopers and the Kanawha and Putnam Sheriff's Departments.


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