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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Killing Bank Teller During Robbery In 2007

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced today to life in prison for the fatal shooting of bank teller Tramaine Gibson during a bank robbery at the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan on the city’s south side on May 22, 2007. The defendant, DAVID VANCE, was convicted at a trial in July 2011 of the fatal shooting while robbing the ISF bank, located on Martin Luther King Drive, of $6,875 with two co-defendants. A security guard and a customer were also shot during the robbery.

Vance, 34, was also convicted of robbing the Cole Taylor Bank, located on East 63rd Street in Chicago, of $11,438 on May 10, 2007. He received the mandatory life sentence from U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall, who also imposed a mandatory consecutive sentence of 32 years for Vance’s use of a firearm during the robberies and shooting. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Judge Gottschall also ordered mandatory restitution of nearly $1.2 million that includes restitution to the banks, as well as funds for the security guard’s disability and the estate of Gibson, who was 23 when he was killed. No funds are likely to be recovered, however, the judge acknowledged in court.

“This heinous crime is an unfortunate example of how an armed robbery can go horribly wrong,” the government argued in support of the mandatory sentence. “A life sentence will send a message to individuals considering such crimes that they will forfeit the right to live in a free society when they are caught. They will forfeit that right not for a few years, but for the rest of their lives.”

Vance jumped the teller counter and “killed Gibson in his cold-blooded pursuit of the money in the bank vault,” the government argued. Vance confronted Gibson, who was unarmed, and demanded that he open the vault, which he was not even able to do. Vance shot Gibson at close range and then dragged his bleeding body toward the bank vault. Because the murder occurred during a bank robbery, the judge ruled that the life sentence was required regardless of whether Vance intended to kill Gibson.

Two co-defendants, Alton Marshall, 34, who testified against Vance, and Henry Bluford, 35, both of Chicago, each pleaded guilty to the bank robberies and, under the terms of their plea agreements, are expected to receive sentences of 20 years in prison when they are sentenced on April 17 and 24, respectively.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon Fairley, Lela Johnson, and Andrianna Kastanek.

The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated July 23, 2015