Man pleads guilty to knifepoint robbery at West Pittston doughnut shop

By Patrick Kernan - pkernan@timesleader.com
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WILKES-BARRE — An Exeter man pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbery and related charges after police say he robbed a Dunkin’ Donuts store in West Pittston.

Justin Allen Villella, 26, also pleaded guilty to burglarizing a Wyoming home.

Villella entered the pleas before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas, who set sentencing for April 3.

In August, Villella was arrested for both the July robbery of the doughnut shop and for the residential burglary.

At Dunkin’ Donuts, he allegedly held a knife to a female employee’s throat, ordering her to open the business safe. Villella got away with $220 in cash and coins, and police say he warned the employee on his way out: “If you call the police, I will come back and kill you.”

Villella pleaded guilty to felony charges of robbery and burglary, along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault and theft. Other charges were withdrawn.

He was also ordered to repay money to Dunkin’ Donuts and the homeowners, and he must have no further contact with either party.

Court records show Villella was unable to post the combined $600,000 bail, so he remains locked while he awaits sentencing.

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By Patrick Kernan

pkernan@timesleader.com

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan