Convicted robber charged in slaying of bank employee

July 18, 1991|By Jessamy Brown

Police have arrested a convicted bank robber in the slaying of bank teller Phyllis Hornfeck and were seeking another suspect in the crime last night.

Darrell Lyn Ricks, 34, of the 5100 block of Linden Heights Avenue, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at his girlfriend's home in the 1200 block of Kitmore Road.

Ricks, who also was wanted for violation of parole and was being sought in connection with another bank robbery, was charged with first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, a felony handgun violation, attempted bank robbery and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

Mrs. Hornfeck, 60, who was head teller at the Maryland National Bank branch on Franklintown Road, was killed about 8 a.m. last Thursday, apparently during a bungled robbery attempt. Police said she was sitting in her van in the bank's parking lot waiting for a co-worker to arrive before opening the bank.

Mrs. Hornfeck, of the 400 block of Bathurst Road in Catonsville, wasshot twice. Police think her killer intended to force her to open the bank but panicked and shot her.

ballistics test yesterday showed that bullets from a handgun recovered during Ricks' arrest matched those that struck Mrs. Hornfeck, police said.

Ricks was already being sought by the FBI in the robbery of the Vermont Federal Savings and Loan branch in Govans last

September. A federal grand jury indicted him in connection with that crime Oct. 4, 1990, FBI spokesman Jim Dearborn said.

Ricks was convicted last year in the May 2, 1979, robbery of the Mercantile Bank & Trust branch in Timonium. In that robbery, which Mr. Dearborn called "a carbon copy of the Hornfeck case," two men forced the head teller to open the bank and then robbed it. Ricks was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison but was released on parole by last September, Mr. Dearborn said.

Baltimore police and the FBI found Ricks after the Metro Crime Stoppers program received his name and address from an anonymous tipster Tuesday.

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