Fatal Robbery Puts Bankers on Notice

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 19, 2007 12:00 am  

President and CEO of Metropolitan Nation Bank Lunsford Bridges was visiting a relative in Hot Springs on Dec. 23 when he got the call informing him that one of his employees had been shot during a robbery.

Evans said he had just relocated to southern California and was looking for a job. The officers told him to go to the library and look for work on Web sites, Hill said.

The next day, when officers learned that Evans was wanted for the robbery and homicide, they went to the library and found him pecking away at a computer, looking for work, Hill said.

He was arrested without incident on the capital murder charge. 

In the federal court system, the maximum penalty for bank robbery is 20 years if a gun isn't used and five additional years if a gun is used. 

But the crime can also be tried in state court, where the penalty could be 10 to 40 years or life for aggravated robbery. And he would have to serve 70 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. 

The prosecution of Evans, of course is on an entirely different track: The penalty for capital murder could be life without parole or death. 

John Johnson, chief deputy for the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, said his office and the U.S. prosecutors have an unwritten rule to review bank robbery cases to determine which system is likely to put a given defendant behind bars longer before charges are filed. 

"Usually if [officers] arrest them, they're really good cases," Johnson said. "They generally end up not going to trial simply because they stand so much to lose."



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