Twice Convicted Armed Robber Hammered with 54-Year Prison Term
HOUSTON – A Houston man, already sentenced to 330 months for one bank robbery, just received another 319-month-term of imprisonment for his role in the armed robbery of a bank in The Woodlands in 2014, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Keith Stephens, 28, pleaded guilty Feb. 26, 2016, to aiding and abetting bank robbery and brandishing a firearm in commission of a crime of violence related to the armed bank robbery of the Chase Bank on West Panther Creek in The Woodlands, on June 27, 2014. Today, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon considered the role Stephens played in the robbery, the use of a gun in the offense, the way the victims were treated and amount of money taken. She also determined that Stephens had planned and organized the armed robbery. She sentenced him to 235 months for the bank robbery and a consecutive 84 months for the firearms charge.
Stephens was also convicted in the armed robbery of the JP Morgan Chase Bank located on South Fry Road in Katy on July 16, 2014. Last week, U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered Stephens to serve a total of 330 months in federal prison for that crime.
In handing down the sentence today, Judge Harmon ordered Stephens’ term of imprisonment to be served consecutively to the previous sentence, resulting in a total of 649 months in prison, more than 54 years.
“Prosecutions of those involved in serial bank and armored car robberies will continue to be a priority for federal law enforcement and their state and local partners,” said Magidson. “The severe sentence handed down today should serve as a significant deterrent to others who participate in violent crimes that put life in jeopardy.”
On June 27, 2014, while Stephens waited outside as a lookout, Crystal Lashay Lewis, 23, of Houston, entered the bank and checked the interior for armed surveillance. Also acting as lookout was Zachary Loudd, 24, of Houston. Once Lewis had exited the bank, Stephens ordered Jerrell Devon James, 22, and Andrew Demon Holley, 23, both of Houston, to enter.
They robbed the bank while wearing masks, gloves and carrying handguns. During the robbery, they also pointed their guns at employees and customers. After exiting with the stolen money, they drove a stolen pickup truck to a predetermined site where they abandoned the vehicle and entered an SUV driven by Randale Deshay Jackson, 29, also of Houston. Jackson drove the men to Stephens’ residence where the money was divided among them.
James, Loudd, Lewis and Holley, who also pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the robbery, are scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Harmon later this month.
Jackson is charged in a separate case with the armed robbery of a pharmacy in Tomball on Sept. 11, 2014.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celia Moyer and Richard D. Hanes are prosecuting the case.