Fourth suspect charged in robbery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 20, 2012

SALISBURY — Following new charges against three men accused of killing a Salisbury store owner during an armed holdup, a fourth suspect was taken into custody and charged with helping the group during a prior robbery at a store on West Horah Street.
Ashley Dawn Bentley, 27, was arrested Wednesday evening just hours after authorities added more felony charges for three men charged with gunning down Z&H Mart store owner Hecham Abualeinan.
Authorities said Christopher Watson, Kevin Canzator and Maurice Alexander Robinson used a small black handgun to rob the Neighborhood Market twice in the last month. The same gun was used to kill Abualeinan days later, a search warrant said.
Salisbury Police did not specify Bentley’s role in the robbery, which happened in November. She has not been charged in a December robbery at the same store.
Bentley, of East Fisher Street, was charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon and remained in jail Wednesday evening under a $20,000 bond.
Authorities charged Watson, Robinson and Canzator with two more counts of armed robbery Tuesday morning.
As he was escorted out of the Magistrate’s Office, Watson apologized again through sobs.
“I was protecting my family. I didn’t mean to shoot him,” Watson said.
A search warrant said three men kept the gun at an apartment on East Bank Street. After each robbery, they returned to hide the weapon.
The group did so again after the fatal shooting, the warrant said, but detectives did not indicate in the file if the gun was found during a search of the apartment last week.
Officers said they are continuing to investigate Bentley’s involvement with the group. The murder also remains an open investigation.