2 men guilty of drunken bank robbery Shaky pair fled on bikes, spilling part of loot

September 04, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Two men who were so drunk that they robbed a Linthicum bank on a dare and wobbled away on bicycles -- only to be caught minutes later -- pleaded guilty yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

John Wayne Newman, 36, and Robert George Pawley, 31, neither with a fixed address, each pleaded guilty to one count of robbery before Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth. Four lesser charges were dropped.

Newman staggered into the Signet Bank branch in the 700 block of Hammonds Ferry Road about 11 a.m. Feb. 4 and asked for money. He was unarmed and so drunk that on the way out he dropped wads of bills from the $1,400 a teller had handed him.

He hopped onto his bike, pedaled a few hundred feet to where Pawley waited, and both took their bikes up a hill to the Baltimore Beltway, said Assistant State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.

Police arrested Pawley there. Officers followed a muddy trail to a nearby camper where Newman was living. They found him inside with $160, Leitess said.

An additional $900 was recovered, mostly by people who turned in cash to the bank. About $350 vanished.

"They were extremely intoxicated," said Assistant Public Defender Keith J. Gross, Newman's attorney. "As far as a reason -- they were drunk, that's it."

Pawley told the judge that the pair robbed the bank on a lark. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison as part of the plea agreement.

Newman will be sentenced Nov. 3 to up to five years in prison.

Pub Date: 9/04/97

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