Va. man, caught on tape admitting to bank robbery, pleads guilty

Carl Whited was sentenced to 15 years in prison for Susquehanna Bank robbery

December 29, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Whited

A Virginia man, caught on videotape telling medics "I was robbing a bank," pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to robbing a bank.

"Do I get sentenced today? Because I just want to get this over with and get sent down the road," said Carl Whited, 44, of Luray, Va., who pleaded guilty to armed robbery, second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property in the Sept. 1 robbery of Susquehanna Bank on Frederick Street in Hagerstown.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced Whited to 15 years in prison for the robbery, telling him he would have to serve at least half the sentence before being eligible for parole.

Whited received an additional 10-year suspended sentence on the assault charge and three years for malicious destruction of property to be served concurrently with the robbery sentence.

In exchange for his plea, 25 charges related to the robbery and the ensuing police pursuit were dismissed, according to court records.

Hagerstown police had accused Whited of entering the bank that morning and brandishing what appeared to be a handgun and announcing he intended to rob the bank, police said at the time.      

Whited stole about $2,000 that was later recovered, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said in reading the statement of facts in court.

Police were able to get a description of the car the robber was driving. The chase ended when the car crashed into a chain-link fence near Julia Manor nursing home, Wilson said.

The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun, Wilson said.

Whited sustained two strokes at a young age, has a fifth-grade education, is on disability and has struggled with mental health issues throughout his life, Assistant Public Defender Charles Bailey told Beachley. In the days prior to the robbery, Whited was using crack cocaine, Bailey said.

"I have a brain disorder ... plus I take a bunch of pills and stuff," Whited told the judge.

Whited has criminal convictions dating to 1984 in South Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland, including 2010 convictions in Washington County for unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and two counts of theft, Wilson said.

Whited's case was the subject of a hearing in November. Following his arrest, he was taken to be interviewed at police headquarters, but emergency medical personnel were called when he began complaining of symptoms similar to a heart attack.

The detective left the interview room while Whited was being examined, and one of the medics asked him if he had been doing any "strenuous activity."

"No, I was robbing a bank," Whited said.

The motion to suppress his statements was denied.

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