Two men get long terms for robbing bank manager, wife Gunmen invaded home, tied up victims, set fire

September 12, 1998|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

A federal judge sentenced two Baltimore men to lengthy prison terms yesterday for the robbery of a NationsBank manager and his wife, who were tied up in their home by intruders looking for the combination to a bank vault.

Wayne E. Jackson, 41, was sentenced to life plus 35 years, and Daniel L. Spence, 32, to 59 years for an attack that Judge Frederic N. Smalkin said was particularly vicious.

"This is a heinous crime, and it deserves severe punishment," Smalkin said in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. "The testimony of the victims in this case was particularly wrenching, both to the jury and to me."

Prosecutors said the harsh sentences, both of which are without possibility of parole, fit the crime.

"They got what they deserved," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio.

The attack happened about 8 p.m. Dec. 11, moments after Peter and Stacy Gianiodis returned to their Elkridge home. Peter Gianiodis is manager of a NationsBank branch in Baltimore.

Spence and Jackson had broken into the house through a basement window and waited, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun and the other with a pistol. When the couple arrived home, the men forced them to the floor, tied their hands and ankles and told them they intended to rob the bank.

One asked about the alarm code and vault combination at the bank, but Peter Gianiodis convinced him that it was impossible to open the vault without another employee, court papers said.

The two men took the couple's automated teller machine cards and their 1996 Chrysler Sebring convertible.

Before leaving, they poured gasoline on a pile of clothes and a tire in the basement, apparently in an attempt to burn down the house while the couple remained bound upstairs, prosecutors said.

The couple managed to free themselves and escape to a neighbor's house before the fire spread. Firefighters put out the blaze before it caused severe damage.

Jackson and Spence were convicted in May of attempted bank robbery, firearms violations and arson.

Thomas Green Jr., Spence's brother, who was at yesterday's hearing, said he believed drugs were at the root of the crime.

He said he and his brother have battled cocaine addictions.

"He wasn't raised to be a bad person," Green said. "Drugs just took him in that direction. He always had the good intentions to go into rehabilitation, but it never happened. Now it's too late."

Pub Date: 9/12/98

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