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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bank Robber Gets More Jail Time After Assaulting Guard

           Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that on March, 12, 2018, United States District Court Judge Leslie J. Abrams sentenced Christopher Belt, age 27, of Columbus, GA, to 84 months imprisonment for the offense of assault on a federal employee.  Mr. Belt had pled guilty to the offense on December 12, 2017.

            The evidence supporting the plea showed that in April 2016, Mr. Belt was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service as a result of his commission of an armed bank robbery.  On August 18, 2017, Mr. Belt was being held at the Sumter County Jail while awaiting sentencing on the bank robbery charge.  Mr. Belt became involved in a verbal dispute with another inmate.  A corrections officer attempted to calm the situation by sending Mr. Belt to a different area of the jail.  Rather than relocate as instructed, Mr. Belt rushed toward the other inmate to try to make physical contact with him.  The officer put her arm out in an attempt to block Mr. Belt’s advance, and her arm was broken.  The injury required immediate surgical correction.

             On August 22, 2017, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Clay D. Land imposed a sentence of 106 months imprisonment on the bank robbery charge.  On March 12, 2018, the Honorable Leslie Abrams ordered that the 84-month sentence imposed as a result of the assault in this case be served consecutively to the sentence for the bank robbery charge.  As a result, Mr. Belt faces a total sentence of 190 months imprisonment.  Mr. Belt was also ordered to pay over $28,000 in restitution related to the officer’s medical bills incurred as a result of the injury he inflicted.

           “This office is dedicated to ensuring that the correctional facilities which house those we prosecute are safe places in which punishment and rehabilitation can take place,” said United States Attorney Peeler.  “Violence against officers or other inmates will not be tolerated.  Our office will do everything we can to see that such acts result in additional jail time being imposed and that those responsible for the costs be made to bear them.”

           This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Leah E. McEwen prosecuted the case for the United States.

           Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 16, 2018