George E. B. Holding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - November 8, 2007
FEDERAL INDICTMENT CHARGES TWO FAYETTEVILLE MEN WITH
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT ROBBERY
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Raleigh has charged ROBERT HAMPTON TAYLOR, 52, and STEVEN CRAIG BETHEA, 39, both of Fayetteville, North Carolina in a three-count Indictment with conspiracy and attempt to commit robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1951; use of a firearm in a federal crime of violence, Title 18, U.S.C. Section 924(c); and felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Title 18, U.S.C., Section 922(g). The government alleges that BETHEA is an Armed Career Criminal and if convicted faces not less than 15 years imprisonment and up to life imprisonment.
According to the Indictment, beginning in or about March 15, 2007, and continuing to on or about March 26, 2007, TAYLOR and BETHEA conspired to rob Kato Bingo Hall located on Yadkin Road in Fayetteville, North Carolina at gunpoint. On March 27, 2007, BETHEA and TAYLOR traveled to Kato Bingo Hall with firearms, binoculars, and gloves. On that same date, Officer Douglas Austin, while on duty with the Fayetteville Police Department, conducted a routine traffic stop in the area of Jack’s Ford Road to check a suspicious vehicle with two occupants. Those occupants were TAYLOR and BETHEA. During the stop, TAYLOR shot Officer Austin in the chest and then proceeded to beat him. A Fort Bragg soldier came to Officer Austin’s aid by jumping on TAYLOR. Officer Austin received 22 staples in his head. BETHEA ran from the car and was arrested later.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson is prosecution for the government.
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