Diner robber pleads guilty to all charges

Raymond Washington

WOODSTOCK —  An Edinburg man pleaded guilty Wednesday to five charges he was facing after he attempted to rob Ben’s Diner in Woodstock in January.

Raymond Lamar Washington, 27, had not signed a plea agreement when he entered guilty pleas that eliminated the need for a jury trial that had been scheduled for Friday. The three other defendants charged in the incident — Andrea Scalf, Andrew Shoemaker and Leonard “Spoon” Garris — testified during Scalf’s trial that Washington was the one with the gun during the robbery, and the one who attempted to kick in the door to the diner’s back room.

Shoemaker and Garris also testified that Washington was the one who devised the plan to rob the diner and had motive to do so because he was trying to flee the state and avoid penalties in other criminal cases pending against him.

Scalf was found guilty on June 2 of the robbery charges she was facing, and will be sentenced in that case on Aug. 4. Garris and Shoemaker have hearings scheduled for Friday.

Washington pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, wearing a mask in a public place, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had also been convicted in Franklin County of breaking and entering and grand larceny in 2009. Washington also pleaded guilty to a long list of drug and child cruelty charges in Shenandoah County in February.

In April, Washington pleaded guilty to felony eluding police and reckless driving charges stemming from a police chase the night after the January robbery.

Because there was no plea agreement in the Ben’s Diner case, sentencing is left entirely up to the judge. Washington is facing up to 25 years imprisonment, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 30.