Murder Charges Filed in Alleged Botched Robbery

Police have arrested 18-year-old Rontrey Wilkins, of Norristown, for the Monday night shooting death of 25-year-old Andrew Polen, of West Norriton.

An 18 year-old Norristown man is in custody in connection with the Monday shooting that killed 25-year-old Andrew Polen, of West Norriton. Polen was shot during what authorities say was a botched robbery attempt Monday evening and later pronounced dead at Mercy Suburban Hospital

Rontrey Wilkins, of the 500 block of Buttonwood Street, is facing charges of first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses in connection with the crime.

According to a release issued by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono, East Norriton Township Police responded to the hospital on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:54 p.m. for a report of a gunshot victim who arrived by private vehicle. The victim, identified as Polen, was treated and later pronounced dead. 

According to the release issued by the DA's office:

Investigation revealed that, prior to arriving at Mercy Suburban Hospital, Polen was the passenger in a car being driven by a friend which was targeted for a robbery in the 1200 block of Lafayette Street in Norristown. During this robbery, a suspect fired multiple gunshots at the vehicle.  Andrew Polen was struck in the torso. 

According to authorities, county detectives investigating the scene recovered five 7.65 caliber casings in the street near the scene. Additional examinations of the vehicle Polen was driving in reveal the car was hit by gunfire in three locations. Forensic investigators say the bullet that killed Polen was fired through the front passenger seat in which Polen was sitting from the driver's side rear seat. An autopsy revealed that Polen died from a gunshot wound to the chest. His death was ruled a homicide.

Norristown Police and county detectives interviewed 18-year-old Rontrey Wilkins on Tuesday and say Wilkins admitted his role in Polen's death. Authorities are still searching for two additional males who were with Wilkins during the robbery. 

According to the DA, police searching Wilkins’ home at 503 Buttonwood Street recovered a .32 caliber Walther PPK Pistol, a 12-gauge Remington Model 870 shotgun, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and more than 100 packets of suspected heroin.

Wilkins is being charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses.  He was arraigned before Judge Francis Lawrence and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility without bail. A preliminary hearing date is set for Feb. 27.

Read more details about the attempted robbery gone wrong on The Times Herald's website.


Original story:

Patch readers reported another shooting incident late Monday night in the area of West Lafayette and Hamilton streets in Norristown and police sources confirm at least one victim is reported dead as a result of the incident.

Official details of the incident are not yet released, but authorities may already have an individual in custody. Details of the incident are expected to be released by the District Attorney's office sometime Tuesday. 

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

Krickzz109 February 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Andrew Polen i hung out with him once. when we went snowboarding at spring mountain. I always wanted to do that again with him and my brother, but now its to late. Polen R.I.P. We are all praying.
Krickzz109 February 13, 2013 at 03:48 PM
i also agree i was a friend of Polen too.
Krickzz109 February 13, 2013 at 03:49 PM
i hope that ass rots in jail for killing Polen.
Lisette February 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
He would of been better just being a swallowed child!
millz February 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Drakeford sewermouth really? Thats all u have to contribute to this convo grow up kid ur intellect is yuk
Steven Gambina February 13, 2013 at 06:32 PM
First ,may God bless this young man and his grieving family. So now some misinformed people want to take away our 2nd amendment rights again. Interesting... so you want "bottom feeders" like "lil nigga, and Pistol Pete" to constantly obtain illegal guns to shoot and kill innocent people, but for law abiding citizens, we can't have handguns to protect ourselves from the vermin above! I'll guarantee you one thing, if those people opposed to guns ever run into one of these vermin, they will pray to God for someone with a gun to save them! My 2 cents.
Kissta February 13, 2013 at 06:45 PM
"Lil Nigga?" & Fudge Packer Pete, Clearly you lack intelligence. Ignorant, Immature people like you make Norristown look bad. Please work on your grammatical skills before you put your opinion onto a public site. Please learn the correct definition of a "nigga" before you slander it. Do not call anyone dumb until you can read and write at a 4th grade level. You little child, are the epitome of ignorance. I never wish horrible things on people, but I do truly hope that if and when something bad happens to you and/or a loved one- someone spits in your face to only give you the respect you give to others. Do yourself a favor to save yourself the embarrassment and do not share your opinions on public websites, nor with other functioning humans. Polen will be missed by many, including myself. <3
Yusuf Rauf February 13, 2013 at 07:33 PM
damn free my lil ahki , as salamu alaikum ahki i keep ur head up put it in allahs hands, FREE RUSH!
Yusuf Rauf February 13, 2013 at 07:36 PM
James Myers (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 08:25 PM
I've had to delete a few more comments for use of the f-word. It's a shame, because some of those comments were thoughtful and made some good points. While I, personally, am not offended by some harsh language, I have to draw the line with the f-word on the site. If I deleted your comment for that reason, please feel free to comment again with some slightly milder language. Thank you.
Man of integrity February 13, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Before you go judging the shooter ask yourself why the victim was in the WRONG place at the wrong time. There was obviously a drug transaction to be had. Remove the drugs and you remove most of the violence. Why is it so hard to see that the Authorities way above the local police let drugs enter our cities and continue a dangerous cycle. No excuse for what the shooter did. But one cannot simply say what kind of person another person is if they have never been in their shoes.
Man of integrity February 13, 2013 at 09:31 PM
And yes whoever is using "lol" and saying we back because of gun violence is very lost. They won't understand until they loose a loved one or do hard time.
SuckitNtown February 14, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Start frying these wanna be thugs and we'll see how funny it is. Norristown has become shit because nothing but shit lives in it. I'm happy to have gotten out of that area and I avoid it at all costs. It's a shame for a person to be embarrassed of a town they grew up in.
Char Hall February 14, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I think everybody should watch what they say on these forums. 2 mothers lost their child (death and prison). No one but the people involved really know what really happened.
Bhrenda Drakeford February 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM
If you stay away from drugs guns and keep your head in your books Norristown would be a better place to live at. But obviously not. Sad bunch of scum bags.
John Q. Public February 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM
They were all good lads just minding their own business, working hard - two or three jobs - to support their families. How could this happen? God only wants the pure ones, the folk who love everyone and would do anything for us, and takes them - for no apparent reason - from us. It's a fickle, confusing world we live in, where the best, most productive and loving die, leaving us to ponder WHY? on the Patch.
Elliot Peters February 15, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Three Norristown Schools are in the bottom 15 percent in the state as far as education. So that explains the people getting deleted and using sentences that could not pass in a fourth grade English class.
tiredoftheviolence February 15, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Something needs to be done. I was born on Main Street right down from where Eve's used to be and moved to Bridgeport as a child. I remember taking trips and walking around Norristown with my grandfather a little under 40 years ago. We'd go to Fiore's (sp) on Main St., get ice cream or water ice. It was a really nice place to visit on a Sunday after church. This stuff was never a problem back then. I can honestly tell you, lack of parent involvement, role models and parental discipline is a huge part of the problem. My children played football for the Bridgeport Dragons, I coached on of the cheerleading squads. Each practice was from 5pm-8pm Mon-Fri. There were children walking from Norristown, all the way across the bridge for practice and all the way back, in the dark, by themselves afterwards. They were no older than 9, the youngest I recall was on my squad, she was 6! Some said their parents to coming to get them, I'd wait with them (mind you, ,my own children had to get to bed for school in the morning) 9pm rolls around..no parents.. So, I would drive them home. I wasn't aware of the others walking home every night and as soon as I was, I took them home along with my mother and father. I'd pull out front of some houses, theirs the parents.. sitting on their steps.. not a care in the world other than the fact, I drove them home. No thank you's, only dirty looks. These kids are now the age of these gang bangers. Coincidence? I doubt it.
tiredoftheviolence February 15, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Patrick- I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you but, how do you propose the guns be removed? Do you think, even if some ban is placed, law abiding citizens along with the criminals are going to voluntarily walk into a PD and hand them over? Just because there is a new law now banning guns, do you think the drug dealers, robbers and wanna be thugs are going to then put them down? Do you want government and police to force their way into people's homes, ransack, search and confiscate them? These guns they are using to shoot each other along with innocent bystanders were acquired illegally. When they are arrested the guns ARE then taken away. More parental involvement, more after school and weekend activities for the kids and teens to attend, arrests for possession of a legal firearm should have an extremely long incarceration crime especially if used in a crime. I'm sorry if this sounds cruel but, make the job market fair for those living in the area legally rather than the way it is now, give the jobs that are being done illegally to the legal residents and the problem of povery and the needs to rob people may just decrease.
patrick February 15, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Elliot, that's a low-blow. True, but low.
Jennifer February 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM
High school graduate, unable to find a job, unable to get a loan for college and would make minimum wage if he washed cars or bagged groceries. Drugs and guns..quick money, no education required and demand is high.
patrick February 16, 2013 at 02:05 AM
I disagree. Unwilling to find a job, unwilling to fill out a college loan app., the work is there, but the pay is beneath them. We washed cars and bagged grocieries. We cleaned toilets. We showeled poop. We did what we had to. But that's beneath everyone else. That's why immigrants come here, do that work, and then move up the ladder. I don't blame the father who bought the drugs, I blame the the child who pulled the trigger.
No Excuses February 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Elliot, any kid who is willing to learn can learn at any school in Norristown. Unfortunately, there are way too many kids and parents who aren't interested.
Elliot Peters February 16, 2013 at 03:40 PM
As far as education goes, I don't see many people with higher education committing petty crimes like this. In the rare instances of crimes committed by those highly educated people, those people are just certified crazy. I started working at age 13 in a deli and have not stopped since. I did not do particularly well in high school, but that was my fault because I was lazy. But I made up for it with a degree and am pursuing more right now. The point being that education opened my eyes to see that there were many options to pursue if I wanted to make something out of my life. Drugs and guns had too many negatives associated with it and smarter people understand this. To be a good parent you should want to have the knowledge and experience that you can guide your children into a better place than you are. The goal should be to put your children first and talk to them, instead of them only knowing about you through pictures and stories.
people February 27, 2013 at 07:18 PM
if you flagged something or someone why do you still have the shit on the web it causes alot of problems it seems as thou he love us african american because he commited. you guys need to pay attention to the ass holes that write.
James Myers (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Unfortunately people are able to get these inappropriate comments up quicker than I can delete them. Many times I'm still at the scene of a story (like today) and I only find out much later. Readers can remove a comment by flagging it. If three readers flag a comment, it is automatically removed by the system and put in moderation.
smh March 18, 2013 at 09:42 PM
No human on this earth is perfect. Both parties made mistakes. Mistakes that could have been prevented, but writing direspectful comments about both parties wont prove anything. Neither of them can't see what you're writing, only family and friends. Have some respect. Also i went to NAHS and i turned out just fine. I had wonderful teachers that taught me a lot. Norristown isn't the problem, norristowns education isnt the problem, ect. It's the people living in norristown that make the problems. Everyone for the most part was taught from right from wrong growing up. If you weren't, as you got older you learned from observing. At the end of the day everyone is their own person if you decide to go down the wrong path expect the consequences.
hi_life April 03, 2013 at 01:32 AM
"if u ain't bout thT life stop kno tears or luv lost over here" And you're about that life? And you "do kno he wad a smoker" ? You seem to be the one that is "talking that Shit" with a capital S. Speaking on heroin addicts like you have a pedestal to stand on. You're an addict yourself. Addicted to "thT life" as you put it, where there is "kno tears or luv lost." Drugs, guns and money. The life right? You claim that "everyone call me pistol Pete". Well why is that? Are you "packin" a pistol as your username displays? Identifying yourself with a weapon, and why? You're an addict to your sub-culture that glorifies a human being being shot and killed, according to you there is no tears shed or no love lost. You feel the need to use a pseudonym like "pistolpackin" to try and display how integrated you are into "The Life". Please. You got no respect for anyone out there "smoking that shit" but probably shake hands with the man who sold that addict his dope. Working hard everyday doesn't make you honorable or mean you are doing the right thing. You are a casualty of the money hungry, greed driven, violence consuming zeitgeist that is pervasive across all of America and the world. So I feel sorry for you, and what you represent. You'll go through life never really knowing how to "live". And as sad as it is, the victim now no longer has to live in a world that is inhabited with people like you and can be free and prosperous in a place we all will see one day.
hi_life April 03, 2013 at 01:35 AM
I'd rather have double the junkies and less pistol-packin' idiots
Ian Robinson March 19, 2014 at 05:24 PM
I use to be great friends with Andrew back in high school but lost touch he was a fun loving kid who took friendship and family seriously. I remember him, me and Andrew R. chilling behind Marshall St school making jokes doing what kids do. I will miss you friend and I am sorry we lost touch. R.I.P


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