DOJ Seal Department of Justice  

United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010                                        PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER                                                                    DIRECT: (409) 981-7902
                                                                                                                        CELL: (409) 553-9881

Girlfriend gets 110 months for Beaumont bank robbery

BEAUMONT, Texas - A 25-year-old former bank teller has been sentenced to federal prison for bank robbery in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

            Kimberly Michelle Kirkwood, of Beaumont, was convicted by a jury on Jan. 13, 2010, of armed bank robbery and was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. 

            Kirkwood's co-defendant, Mark Anthony Owens, was sentenced to 121 months on July 15, 2010.

According to information presented in court, Kirkwood was employed as a bank teller at the Texas State Bank Westside Branch located at Phelan and Major in Beaumont and Owens was a well-known local personal trainer and was employed as a contract worker at a local refinery.  Testimony during trial established that Kirkwood and Owens had been involved in a romantic relationship for several years and planned the bank robbery.  The day before the robbery, Kirkwood loaded her teller drawer with an unusually high cash balance of nearly $90,000.   The next morning on Sep. 8, 2007, as Kirkwood was opening the bank with another teller, she let Owens in the bank.  Kirkwood posed as a victim as Owens, claiming to have a weapon, took the other teller hostage.  Kirkwood emptied her teller drawer into a duffle bag and Owens escaped with the bag in a truck, but not before the other teller captured his license plate number.  The truck, which belonged to a friend of Owens, was recovered 10 days later abandoned nearby.   Owens quit his refinery job on the day of the bank robbery.  Kirkwood was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 20, 2007, and Owens was named in a superseding indictment on Aug. 6, 2008.  The money has never been recovered. 

            This case was investigated by the FBI and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Ross and Randall L. Fluke.


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