Pair appear in alleged gas-throwing case

Rosie Mullaley
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Woman charged in pharmacy holdup likely to plead guilty; bail hearing scheduled for other suspect

One of the two people suspected of holding up a St. John’s pharmacy and dousing two women with gas last weekend will likely plead guilty to the charges next week.

Dawn Marie Power appeared in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday morning, appearing agitated and irritated.

The 30-year-old shouted and cursed at reporters as she was escorted into Courtroom No. 7 by sheriff’s officers.

Duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick told Judge Greg Brown that Power’s case will likely be settled by way of speedy disposition, meaning guilty pleas are expected.

She’s due back in court Wednesday.

“I needs help,” Power was overheard telling Crown prosecutor William Cadigan during proceedings.

“You’ll get help,” Cadigan replied.

Outside court, a woman — Power’s friend, who did not want to be identified — said Power is “a good-hearted person” who has serious drug addiction problems.

About an hour before Power’s appearance in court, the other person charged in the holdup — Elmer William Welsh — made his first appearance.

The 37-year-old, who tried to hide his face from reporters’ cameras, is also scheduled to return to court Wednesday. He’s expected to have a bail hearing.

Power and Welsh were arrested earlier this week in connection with a robbery at Brookfield Pharmachoice on Burgeo Street in the Cowan Heights area of the city.

At around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, police say, Power and Welsh ran into the pharmacy, doused two female employees with gasoline and confront the pharmacist.

Police said a lighter and a crowbar were brandished at the female employees.

The two made off with 1,500 prescription pills, including Ritalin, Demerol and Percocet.

Both Power and Welsh face numerous charges that include robbery; having their faces masked; two counts of aggravated assault; intent to cause bodily harm to a person by placing or throwing an explosive substance; possessing an incendiary material or device for the purpose of committing an offence; and two counts of administering to a person destructive or noxious things with intent to endanger the life or cause bodily harm to that person.

Power also faces half a dozen charges of breaching court orders in connection with an unrelated incident, which allegedly occurred between Dec. 21, 2010, and Jan. 4 of this year.

Geographic location: Burgeo Street, Cowan Heights

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