Jury convicts local man in multiple robberies
HOUSTON – A federal jury sitting in Houston has convicted a 30-year-old Houston man on 12 counts related to the robbery or attempted robbery of six local banks, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The jury deliberated for two hours before convicting Eric Beverly following a one and a half day trial. He was convicted of five counts of aiding and abetting the robbery of local banks and aiding and abetting the attempted robbery of another as well as six counts of aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm during the commission of the robberies.
During trial, the jury heard Beverly and other members of his crew committed six armed bank robberies and had robbed three of the banks more than once. The take-over style robberies occurred between Aug. 25, 2014, and May 2, 2015. During the crimes, two or more men wore masks and entered the banks while at least one of them brandished a firearm and put people’s lives in jeopardy. While in the banks, one or more of the men demanded money from employees at gunpoint, jumped over teller counters and grabbed money from teller drawers.
Jurors also heard testimony that Beverly participated in an attempted robbery. He did not get any money due to the bank’s bullet-proof bandit barriers.
At trial, the jury saw videos and photos from each of the robberies and heard testimony from five bank tellers explaining how the armed robbers wore masks and gloves. The jury also considered phone records showing how the robbers used their cell phones to communicate with each other. A cell phone registered to Beverly was used at or near the times of several of the robberies while in the vicinity of the banks.
Two co-conspirators also identified Beverly in all of the robberies.
U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes presided over the trial and set sentencing for June 1. At that time, Beverly faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the bank robbery and attempted bank robbery convictions. He also faces seven years for each conviction for aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm to run consecutively to each other and any other sentence imposed.
He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI Violent Crime Task Force, Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Wirsing and Jill Stotts are prosecuting the case.