2 Fugitive Siblings To Plead Guilty
ATLANTA (AP) — Two of the three siblings accused of robbing a south Georgia bank during a cross-country crime spree that started in Florida and ended with a shootout in Colorado plan to enter into plea deals with federal prosecutors, according to court documents.
The court filings show c and Lee Grace Dougherty are in the process of working out plea agreements. John Gee Edwards, a lawyer for Lee Grace Dougherty, said Friday he did not want to comment on the matter, while a lawyer for Ryan Dougherty did not immediately return an email and a call seeking comment.
Dylan Stanley Dougherty did not yet have a signed plea agreement, his lawyer Tina Hunt said.
All three have been indicted on bank-robbery and firearm charges in Georgia. They had pleaded not guilty to those charges in May.
Each of them had filed motions last month asking a judge to hear their cases separately and to suppress statements they made to law enforcement while in custody. A lawyer for Ryan Dougherty filed a request Thursday to withdraw his earlier motions, saying he was working on a plea agreement and wants to plead guilty in the case. Edwards filed a similar request Friday for Lee Grace Dougherty.
The three have already pleaded guilty to Colorado charges stemming from their capture last August. Ryan Dougherty got 18 years, Lee Grace Dougherty received 24 years and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty got 32 years for those charges.
They also face charges in Florida for allegedly shooting at an officer during a high-speed chase.
The crime spree began in August 2011 when an officer northeast of Tampa, Fla., tried to pull over their car for speeding. That led to a five-mile police chase, at speeds around 100 mph. Two of the passengers fired at the officer pursuing them at least 20 times. He wasn’t hurt, but a bullet burst one of his tires, forcing him to give up the chase.
A few hours later, authorities say, the three made their way to the Certus Bank in Valdosta, Ga., about 210 miles to the north. One of them brandished an AK-47-style rifle while another was photographed by a security camera waving a pistol, the FBI said. The robbers fired shots into the ceiling and then fled with the stolen cash, burning through $1,000 as they made their way west.
The string of violent crimes sparked nationwide attention. Their images were plastered on electronic billboards throughout the Southeast. Their mother, Barbara Bell, encouraged her children to turn themselves in before someone got hurt, while authorities warned the public to steer clear.
The chase ended Aug. 10, 2011 after two retired officers spotted the three while on a leisure trip in the San Isabel National Forest. Within an hour, the fugitives were leading authorities on a 20-mile police chase on Interstate 25 that ended in Walsenburg, about 150 miles south of Denver. Shots were fired at the officers before troopers deployed spike strips to puncture the tires of the trio’s Subaru, and the vehicle rolled before crashing into a guardrail.
Even then, the chase wasn’t over. Lee Dougherty bolted from the crash on foot, only to be shot in the leg by an officer after she pointed a pistol at him, authorities said.
By Kate Brumback, AP Writer (© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)