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Mental exam sought for man charged with robbing bank twice

David Courtney Zeller, filed a plea of not criminally responsible and competent to stand trial

July 08, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- A mental health examination has been requested for a Hagerstown man charged with robbing the same bank twice in March.

David Courtney Zeller, 57, filed a plea of not criminally responsible and competent to stand trial, according to court documents filed earlier this month by Assistant Public Defender Carl F. Creeden. A motions hearing for Zeller scheduled Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court was continued, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said.

Creeden requested that Zeller receive a mental health evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial or whether he was criminally responsible at the time of the alleged offenses, court records show.

Zeller, who was living at the Dagmar Hotel, 50 Summit Ave., is charged with robbing the Sovereign Bank branch at 100 W. Washington St. on March 9 and 23, according to the applications for statement of charges filed by the Hagerstown Police Department.

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Zeller was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of robbery, six counts of second-degree assault, theft of $10,000 to $100,000, theft of $1,000 to $10,000, resisting arrest, threatening arson and making a false statement about a destructive device, court records show.

On the morning of March 9, a man entered the Sovereign Bank branch, demanded money and was given an undisclosed amount of cash, and fled on foot, records show.

On the morning of March 23, a man entered the Sovereign Bank branch carrying a backpack and wearing a red bandanna on his face, one of the applications said. The man told the teller he wanted to go into the vault and that he had a bomb, records show.

A police officer responding to a report of the bank being robbed saw a man inside the bank, and when the man attempted to leave, the officer apprehended him after a brief struggle, records show.

Zeller took $66,000 from the bank in the March 23 holdup, the application said. The only thing found in the backpack left in the bank was a container of soda, records show.

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