Jury Convicts Bank Robber
HOUSTON – A federal jury sitting in Houston has convicted a 48-year-old Houston man for the robbery of two local banks and the attempted robbery of another as well as another charge of escape, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for approximately five hours before convicting Henry Lee London Jr. on all counts as charged following a three-day-trial.
During the trial, the jury heard that London escaped from the Leidel Sanction Center on Commerce Street in Houston on March 20, 2014, where he was serving the remainder of a federal sentence. He was wearing a plain blue baseball hat, black shirt, a tan backpack and shoes. Shortly thereafter, a man wearing the same clothing robbed the BBVA Compass bank on 43rd Street in Houston. The robber handed a teller a demand note that read “This is a robbery give large bills.”
Four days later, a man wearing the same clothing and plain blue baseball hat attempted to rob an IBC bank on Katy Freeway in Houston. He was unsuccessful. The teller testified that she was trying to get the money but the robber became frustrated and left. Less than an hour later, the same man wearing the same clothes and plain blue baseball hat robbed the Comerica Bank on Highway 6 South in Houston.
The jury saw videos and photos from each of the robberies and heard testimony from 10 witnesses. Three of the witnesses knew London well from his personal life and were able to identify him in all of the robberies.
London’s defense did not dispute the fact that he escaped from the halfway house. They also did not dispute that the banks were robbed, but contended London was not the robber. The jury was not convinced and found him guilty on all counts.
U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon presided over the trial and has set sentencing for Aug. 12, 2016. At that time, London faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the bank robbery and attempted bank robbery convictions. He also faces another five years of imprisonment for the escape. London will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI Bank Robbery Task Force which included the U.S. Marshals Service, sheriff’s offices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennie Basile and Jill Stotts are prosecuting the case.