Alleged armed robber testifies

Heroin – that’s alleged armed robber Hyson E. Frederick’s explanation for how he came into possession of items stolen during the Dec. 11, 2011, robbery of Bruce and Brenda Ginther’s 59 Ross St. residence.

“(Anthony Rudinski) said he was sick and had jewelry he wanted to trade for drugs,” Frederick testified Wednesday.

Rudinski, a witness for the commonwealth, fingered Frederick as one of three men involved in the 2011 robbery. A self-professed heroin dealer, Frederick admitted to regularly trading drugs for items of value but denied having anything to do with the Ross Street incident.

“Rudinski came to me numerous times throughout the day (to get heroin). Sometimes he’d bring me items, sometimes currency,” Frederick testified. “He’d bring me jewelry mostly.”

Rudinski and Frederick were seen together in Rudinski’s vehicle about an hour after the robbery, according to First Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Osokow. Frederick testified that he was with Rudinski as part of a drug transaction.

“He went into my bathroom and used. He came back out, sat, smoked a cigarette and asked if I wanted to go to his house to look at more (jewelry). I said sure,” Frederick testified.

Brenda Ginther positively identified the jewelry recovered from Frederick’s home as being stolen during the robbery. A sawed-off shotgun matching the description of one used during the robbery also was found in Frederick’s possession, according to Osokow. Frederick testified that Rudinski gave him the weapon in January 2012 – several weeks after the robbery.

“(Rudinski) said he couldn’t take (the shotgun) with him because he was going to rehab,” Frederick testified.

Frederick claimed the barrel already had been sawed off when he took possession of the shotgun. He also testified that he did not know that such an alteration of a weapon is illegal.

Commonwealth witness Michelle Lohman, a woman with whom Frederick admitted to having an ongoing sexual relationship, testified that she saw Frederick with a sawed-off shotgun prior to the December 2011 robbery. Frederick claimed it was a different shotgun no longer in his possession – long since sold or traded.

No fingerprints or DNA were recovered from the scene of the burglary, Detective Steven J. Sorage testified. On the night of the incident, an individual was captured on video surveillance attempting to use the Ginthers’ ATM card, but a T-shirt wrapped around the culprit’s face concealed his identity, Sorage testified.

The commonwealth rested its case on Wednesday. The jury is expected to render a verdict later today.