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Serial Violent Offender Receives Life Sentence in Robbery Case

May 24, 2016

Contact: Robert James, 215.348.6332, rdjames@buckscounty.org

A 60-year-old Levittown man with an extensive record of violent crime was sentenced today to life in prison without possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of robbing a woman with a box cutter in a shopping-center parking lot.

George Blackwell, whose criminal record included convictions for robbery and rape, was found guilty of the Jan. 30 robbery after 90 minutes of jury deliberations.

Under Pennsylvania’s Three Strike Law, the three violent felonies made Blackwell eligible for a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, with the possibility of life in prison without parole. Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Diane E. Gibbons opted for the latter, saying that she believed a lesser sentence would be insufficient to protect the public from Blackwell.

Blackwell’s latest robbery took place in broad daylight at the Queen Anne Shopping Center in Bristol Township. A 53-year-old woman testified that she was getting out of her vehicle when Blackwell accosted her, held a box cutter close to her face and stole her wallet.

Fearing for her life, the woman screamed for help and honked her horn while Blackwell covered her mouth and reached for her purse. She suffered a cut to her lip in the struggle.

Two bystanders heard the victim’s screams and chased Blackwell, tackling and restraining him near Oxford Valley Road until police arrived.

Blackwell told Gibbons that he does not intend to hurt people by using weapons in his crimes, but that the weapons make it easier for him to obtain what he wants.

In seeking a life sentence, Deputy District Attorney Robert James noted that Blackwell had been convicted of robbery in 1981 and of rape in 1983. Blackwell is a Tier III lifetime registered sex offender, James said, and has other prior convictions for aggravated assault, corruption of minors, escape, burglary and theft.

Approved for release by Michele Kelly Walsh, Deputy District Attorney.

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Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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