Burns gets 10 years for bank robbery
DAVENPORT — A Cedar Rapids woman was sentenced to 127 months’ imprisonment Friday in Federal District Court for her role in the robbery of the West Chester Savings Bank in Washington on Oct. 5, 2009.
According to a press release from United States Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt’s office, Verkisha Latrice Burns, 21, of Cedar Rapids, was sentenced on charges of bank robbery and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Law Enforcement Coordinator Mike Bladel said today that there is no parole in the federal system and people convicted are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. The maximum sentence for bank robbery is 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is seven years.
Co-defendants Katalyn Marie Curtis of Cedar Rapids and Raylon Deshon Jones of Washington have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Jones will be sentenced on Aug. 26 in federal court. A sentencing date wasn’t available for Curtis this morning. All three had signed plea agreements, pleading guilty to bank robbery and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. In all cases, a charge of conspiracy to commit bank robbery was dropped.
According to court records, on Oct. 5, 2009, Curtis had entered the West Chester Savings Bank to ‘case’ the bank for Burns. Burns then entered the bank wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses. She initially presented the teller with a note reading, “This is a robbery. Put the money in a bag. If you scream I will shoot. Put your hands where I can see them.” A bank officer asked Burns to remove her hood, at which point she pulled a handgun and pointed it at bank employees. Bank employees turned over $3,760 to Burns, who stuffed the money in a blue bag and fled the scene in a vehicle, later identified as belonging to Curtis.
For more, see our July 7 print edition.