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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 2, 2009

Botched robbery in Knox

By Zach Simeone

KNOX — A man and woman accused of robbing a home in Knox are now in jail after one victim recognized the woman and her getaway car, police say.

Police knew the victim was an acquaintance of the female, and her vehicle had a distinctive vanity plate, which read “ARMYLIFE.” This made it “fairly easy” to locate the perpetrators, said Chief Deputy Craig Apple of the Albany County Sheriff’s Department.

Jason L. Seminary, 31, of Schenectady, and Karla K. Lawyer, 24, of Delanson, have been charged with five felonies — first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, fourth-degree grand larceny, and fourth-degree conspiracy — and two misdemeanors — second-degree menacing, and petit larceny.

Seminary, an unemployed contractor, and Lawyer, an entertainer at a nightclub in Colonie, were arrested Wednesday, March 25, in New Scotland after three days in hiding.

On March 22, at about 8 p.m., Seminary and Lawyer broke into a home on Route 443 in Knox, according to a release from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department.

“Once inside, Seminary attacked the homeowner by wrapping a belt around his neck and then knocked him to the floor, where he punched him about the head and face,” says the release. “There was a second male occupant in the home, whom he ordered to the floor, saying that he had a gun and would use it if he got up from the floor. Seminary ordered the second male to turn over his wallet, which Seminary ultimately stole.”

Seminary then noticed a 32-inch flat-screen television, according to the release. Seminary ordered the homeowner to carry the television out to his car, and then demanded the homeowner lie down on the driveway. It was then that the victim recognized Seminary’s accomplice, Lawyer, waiting in the getaway car, police say. The homeowner also recognized Lawyer’s blue Hyundai, which had a “distinctive” vanity plate, the release said.

After the two drove off, the homeowner dialed 911 from a neighbor’s house; the sheriff’s department soon responded.

“The TV was not located,” Apple told The Enterprise. “The info we got was that it was sold that night.” He would not reveal the names of either victim.

Apple said that the sheriff’s department had identified Seminary as the other perpetrator by “early morning or afternoon the next day.”

On how they determined Seminary’s involvement, Apple said, “I don’t want to get into the particulars of that. It was just good, flat-footed police work.” The investigators “did their homework, and were able to uncover some evidence that led them to Seminary,” said Apple.

According to the release from the Sheriff’s Department, Seminary and Lawyer “became aware” that they were being searched for, and went into hiding. After three days of surveillance at “residences of relatives and associates” of Lawyer and Seminary, Apple said, the two were arrested at about 4:30 p.m. on March 25, at a home on State Farm Road in New Scotland.

On the pair’s past criminal record, Apple said, “Seminary has a DWI, and I think another misdemeanor; Lawyer has a clean record.”

They were arraigned that night at Knox Town Court by Judge Linda Quay, and remanded to the Albany County jail without bail.

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