|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON|
|THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010||PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER|
|http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe||CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902|
BEAUMONT, Texas – A 25-year-old Beaumont man has been sentenced to federal prison for bank robbery in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Mark Anthony Owens was convicted by a jury on Jan. 13, 2010, of armed bank robbery and was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison on July 12, 2010, by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.
Owens' co-defendant, Kimberly Michelle Kirkwood, is scheduled for Aug. 8, 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 to 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 job at the refinery 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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