jury convicts columbia man of two bank robberies;
may face life in prison with 'Third strike'
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced a Columbia, Mo., man was convicted in federal court today of two bank robberies in Columbia.
Eddie Prince Roberts, 39, of Columbia, was found guilty of both counts contained in a May 23, 2012, federal indictment. Roberts, who has prior convictions for six earlier bank robberies, could be sentenced to life in federal prison without parole due to his prior violent felony convictions.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Roberts stole $8,260 from Landmark Bank in Columbia on May 8, 2012. During the robbery, Roberts – who had both hands in his pockets – threatened to shoot a bank employee and ordered the employee to take him to the vault. When the employee was unable to open the vault, Roberts began punching him in the face. Roberts then ran to another teller, jumped onto the counter, and took all the money she had. As he was leaving the bank, a customer tried to stop him and Roberts punched him in the face.
Roberts’s truck was found a short time later, stuck by the river after attempting to elude the police. Officers pursued on foot; Roberts resisted arrest and fought with one of the officers. During the struggle, the officer’s firearm was discharged and he was wounded.
Evidence also indicated that Roberts stole $4,468 from Boone County National Bank in Columbia on April 23, 2012. During that robbery, Roberts ordered a teller to give him all of the money in her drawer. Roberts jumped on the counter and rifled through the teller drawers, putting money into a black trash bag. Surveillance video from nearby businesses captured images of Roberts leaving the bank in the same black Ram pickup that he used a couple of weeks later to rob Landmark Bank.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., deliberated less than two hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.
Roberts was convicted of bank robbery in Kansas in 1993 and, in a separate case in Kansas in 1993, of four bank robberies. Roberts was also convicted of bank robbery in Missouri in 2000. As a result of today’s conviction, he is subject to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony P. Gonzalez. It was investigated by the FBI, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Miller County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Cooper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Boonville, Mo., Police Department.