Grand Jury Indicts Birmingham Man for Robbing Bank and Taking Hostages
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Birmingham man for the Jan. 10 robbery of a credit union branch in Tuscaloosa, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Robert O. Posey and FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton.
A three-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges CEDRICK LAMAR COLLINS, 18, with one count of bank robbery and two counts of hostage-taking during the robbery of an Alabama Credit Union on Paul Bryant Drive East. The credit union’s deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
One hostage-taking count charges that Collins, while attempting to avoid apprehension for bank robbery, forced 11 people to accompany him without their consent. The second hostage count charges that Collin’s took the 11 credit union employees hostage in order to compel a governmental organization, in this case the Tuscaloosa and University of Alabama police departments, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, not to take him into custody as an explicit condition for release of the hostages.
Police were able to arrest Collins at the credit union the day of the robbery and released all employees who had been held inside.
The maximum prison penalty for bank robbery is 20 years. The charge of taking a hostage while attempting to flea a bank robbery carries a minimum 10-year prison sentence. The charge of taking someone hostage to force a specific government action carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The FBI investigated the case in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa and University of Alabama police departments and the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Felton is prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.