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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Second plea attempt accepted for bank robber

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vance E. Smith
After previously denying one plea agreement, Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout recently accepted the terms of a new plea agreement which will send a Plainfield man to jail for his involvement in a 2007 bank robbery.

On Monday, Vance E. Smith, 38, agreed to plead guilty to two class C felonies -- robbery and operating a vehicle after forfeiture of license for life -- for his involvement in the robbery at the Poland First Financial Bank.

On Nov. 23, 2007, Smith hinted to bank employees he possessed a weapon during the daylight robbery where he got away with more than $11,692. However, witnesses were unable to identify a weapon and none was recovered in connection with the case.

In January 2008, Smith was in arrested on a warrant in Moss, Tenn., a town in Clay County, Tenn., and extradited back to the Clay County Justice Center.

At the time, after a review of Smith's prior criminal record that showed he had accumulated three prior felony convictions, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office added the habitual offender enhancement to his charging information.

However, upon closer review by the defense attorney, Laura Paul, a motion was filed in June 2008, requesting the enhancement be dismissed because the felony convictions were related to Smith's driving record.

The prosecutor's office agreed with the motion and the charge was later dropped in September.

On Oct. 6, 2008, Smith appeared with his attorney before Trout to enter a preliminary guilty plea as part of negotiated plea agreement with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, which officials confirmed had the approval of the victim.

The terms of the initial plea agreement filed in court sentenced Smith to the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) for five years, which would be suspended with the exception of three years to be served with good time credit (if earned) and credit for time previously served.

It was rejected on Nov. 3.

On Monday, Trout accepted the terms of the new plea agreement, which also had the victim's approval.

It sentences Smith to the state recommended sentence of eight years at the IDOC, which would be suspended with the exception of six years to be served with good time credit (if earned) and credit for time previously served.

Prosecutor Lee Reberger told The Brazil Times the two felony charges, pursuant to Indiana statute, must run concurrent with each other. The court also ordered the sentence to be served consecutive with any other type of sentence previously received by the defendant.

Upon release, Smith will be placed on formal probation for two years and, as a term of his probation, he will be required to make full restitution to the victim.

"The state presented the plea agreement with the full support of all the victims involved in this matter as a reasonable resolution to the case," Reberger said.

According to officials, Smith is facing other court proceedings in at least two other counties and charges have been filed against him for his alleged involvement in a separate bank robbery that occurred in Darlington, Ind., on Oct. 31, 2007, but further information about these cases were unavailable as of press time.

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It'd been much easier if he got a real job!!

-- Posted by ape1 on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 9:38 PM

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