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Washington, D.C., man pleads guilty to M&T bank robbery

Keith Darnell Wilson pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery, first-degree assault and using a handgun in commission of a vio

August 10, 2010|By DON AINES

The day after the trial of an alleged accomplice ended in a mistrial, a Washington, D.C., man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to the March 8 robbery of the M&T Bank branch at 930 Dual Highway.

Keith Darnell Wilson, 38, of 103 Q St., NW, pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery, first-degree assault and using a handgun in commission of a violent crime. Sentencing was deferred until Oct. 20, and the state will argue for a sentence of 50 years with 25 years suspended, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III explained to Wilson that the handgun conviction will require he serve five years before becoming eligible for parole. Wilson's attorneys, John McKenna and William Mitchell, will be able to argue for a lesser sentence under the agreement, Michael said.

In exchange for the plea, 10 counts each of first- and second-degree assault and false imprisonment, three counts of robbery, three other handgun violations, two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, one count of armed robbery, and one count of theft of $1,000 to $10,000 against Wilson were dropped, according to court records.

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A mistrial was declared Monday in the case of Darnell Edward Stewart, 50, of Clinton, Md., who also was charged in the robbery. At the end of the three-day trial, the jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree assault and single counts of first-degree assault, use of a handgun in commission of a violent crime, carrying a handgun and theft of $1,000 to $10,000, according to court records.

Leroy Robinson, 59, of Fort Washington, Md., who is Stewart's brother, was convicted in the robbery and was sentenced in July to 30 years in prison. Robinson had several prior federal bank robbery convictions, according to information presented by the state at his sentencing hearing.

Robinson and Wilson entered the bank at about 10:40 a.m. on March 8 wearing masks and armed with handguns, Michael told Boone. Ten customers and employees were herded into a back room at gunpoint and three employees were forced to open the vault, he said.

A person outside the bank saw two men go inside and called 911 while bank employees were able to alert police, Michael said. Dye packets slipped in with the $3,554 in stolen cash exploded, melting the bag in which the money was carried, he said.

Police arrived shortly after the men left the bank, Michael said. Robinson was caught in a wooded area near the bank and Wilson was captured near Stewart's pickup truck, Michael said.

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