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Women sentenced for car wash robbery

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Theresa Purcell, 27, will serve five years in prison, while Laura Purcell, 24, will serve six months in a community-based corrections facility, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.

On Jan. 16, 2013, Marcus Campbell, 26, fired three rounds at Bartt Carruthers at a self-serve car wash, in what investigators later learned was a robbery attempt gone wrong.

Carruthers’ stepdaughter, Katie Wilson, 26, had lured Carruthers there under the pretense of selling him Xanax. After Carruthersrefused to fork over his money, Campbell fired, with one bullet narrowly missing Carruthers’ heart.

Laura Purcell was a passenger in the vehicle Campbell and Wilson drove to the car wash. Theresa Purcell helped orchestrate the robbery attempt, police said.

Theresa pleaded guilty to one count of complicity to commit aggravated robbery in August 2013, and Laura pleaded guilty to the same charge in June 2013, according to court documents.

Both women, Baxter said, cooperated with the prosecution in regard to Campbell’s involvement. The Purcells both agreed to testify against Campbell at trial, but Campbell accepted a plea deal of his own and was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this week.

Even though the Purcells’ roles in the incident were similar, they’re facing vastly different sentences.

Laura was sentenced to community-controlled sanctions. She’ll spend six months at a Tiffin-area drug treatment center. If she later violates any of her sanctions, she’ll face four years in prison, Baxter said.

Theresa received a five-year prison sentence. Baxter said Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette cited Theresa’s criminal history at the hearing while determining her sentence.

“He came down pretty hard on her. He felt she was not a good candidate for community-controlled sanctions” Baxter said.

Wilson, meanwhile, was sentenced in May 2013 to eight years in prison for complicity to commit aggravated robbery.

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