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TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced that a man has been indicted by a state grand jury for allegedly threatening a casino patron with a box cutter during a robbery attempt at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., in December 2020.
Shawn P. Applewhite, 25, of Marlton, N.J., was indicted on Friday, Aug. 6, on these charges:
- Robbery (1st Degree)
- Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (3rd Degree)
The indictment was obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Specialized Crimes Bureau as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau.
On December 23, 2020, at approximately 7:35 p.m., Applewhite allegedly attempted to rob the victim by placing a box cutter to the victim’s neck and demanding the victim’s money and jewelry. Applewhite allegedly approached the victim from behind as he was seated at a slot machine. The victim stood up and engaged in a physical altercation with Applewhite. A bystander also attempted to intervene, and Applewhite allegedly fled without taking any property. Applewhite was apprehended by a Bally’s security supervisor and security officer as he attempted to exit the casino.
Deputy Attorney General Katelyn Waegener presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart. Acting Attorney General Bruck commended the detectives of the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau for their investigation, as well as the security staff at Bally’s who apprehended Applewhite.
The indictment is posted online at: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases21/Applewhite_Indictment.pdf
The first-degree robbery charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison, with a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed, and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Defense Attorney: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Omar M. Aguilar, Atlantic County.