Update: Ardmore Patch's complete recap on the preliminary hearing .
Following a two-and-a-half hour preliminary hearing on Wednesday afternoon in Bala Cynwyd, Judge Karen Zucker ruled to retain all the charges filed against Michael Shawn Schaefer in relation to , despite a request from his defense attorney that all the charges be dropped.
located at 342 Montgomery Ave. in Merion, was robbed at gunpoint on July 14 by four suspects. Deli employees and patrons were ordered to the ground and had wallets and cell phones stolen, according to police. .
Michael Shawn Schaefer, 40, was charged on July 25 with 20 counts of robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, 20 counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, four counts of robbery using force, four counts of theft by unlawful taking, and one count of prohibited firearm possession, among other lesser charges, according to court documents.
At the hearing, at the request of Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick, the charges were amended to read 19 counts of robbery and 19 counts of conspiracy to commit robbery. Added was one count of prohibited offensive weapon.
Schaefer's defense attorney asked that all the charges against Schaefer be dismissed, as all the evidence against Schaefer was "purely circumstantial," including the discovery of a sawed off shotgun in the back of Schaefer's car that matched the description of one used in the robbery.
After deliberation, Zucker did not dismiss any charges, stating that at a preliminary hearing, the prosecution need only prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant was involved in the crime, and that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had met that burden.
"They have a long way to go," said Schaefer's defense attorney, of the prosecution's attempt to prove Schaefer guilty. In the meantime, Schaefer maintains his innocence.
Witnesses who testified included the Hymie's manager who was on duty at the time of the robbery.
Check back tomorrow for a complete recap of the hearing.