GEORGE E. B. HOLDING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - JULY 18, 2007
FOUR SENTENCED FOR BANK ROBBERY
WILMINGTON - Acting United States Attorney John S. Bruce announced that in federal court today, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced ROMAN GERMAINE GRAHAM, 43, of Delco, North Carolina to 131 months’ imprisonment; MICHAEL KINDOCE BLACKMAN, 26, of Delco, North Carolina to 468 months’ imprisonment; LACRESA JANELLE SLAPPY, 30, of Wilmington, North Carolina to 107 months’ imprisonment; and DIANA VICTORIA HOWARD, 23, of Wilmington, North Carolina to 102 months’ imprisonment. Judge Fox also ordered restitution in the amount of $16,192.00 to be paid jointly and severally by all defendants.
A Superseding Criminal Indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on October 19, 2006, charged all four defendants with conspiracy to commit bank robbery and armed bank robbery. GRAHAM, BLACKMAN, and HOWARD were also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime relating to the bank robbery. GRAHAM AND BLACKMAN were further charged with theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm relating to the automobile theft. HOWARD and SLAPPY pled guilty to the charges on December 12, 2006, while GRAHAM and BLACKMAN pled guilty on March 5, 2007. On the morning of November 30, 2005, the four defendants met and traveled to GRAHAM’s residence in GRAHAM’s vehicle. While there, BLACKMAN left and returned shortly with another vehicle.
En route to the bank, BLACKMAN stopped at a gas station where he made a 911-call reporting a bomb at East Columbus High School. This was a diversionary tactic to insure that the police would be on the opposite side of town during the bank robbery. The four defendants then traveled to BB&T in Riegelwood, North Carolina where they took $16,192.00. During the course of the robbery, BLACKMAN and HOWARD were armed with guns.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Perry prosecuted the case for the government.
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