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Suspects face death penalty in guards murder
DETROIT (6/9/10)--The trial of a suspect in a 2001 robbery--in which an armored-truck guard was killed while delivering cash to the main office of Dearborn FCU (now DFCU Financial)--began Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in Detroit. Timothy Dennis O'Reilly, 36, faces the death penalty for the murder of Norman "Anthony" Stephens during the Dec. 14, 2001 holdup, which netted more than $200,000 in cash and remained unsolved for years (The Detroit News June 8). Two co-defendants, Norman Herbert Duncan and Kevin C. Watson, also will face the death penalty, prosecutors said. A fourth defendant, Earl L. Johnson, was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted him of conspiracy, bank robbery, and aiding and abetting a murder. The robbery at the credit union's ATM was the first of three similar armored-truck robberies. The others occurred at Comerica Bank in Detroit in June 2003 and in February 2004. In the last robbery, a guard fired back and one robber, Eddie Cromer, died. Duncan was arrested near the scene. O'Reilly and Duncan had worked for Guardian Armored Security Services, which was targeted in the 2003 and 2004 robberies. The case received a major break six months after the last robbery, when an inmate where O'Reilly was incarcerated on an unrelated charge tipped off the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that O'Reilly was bragging about the robbery and had named the other suspects. The FBI had the inmate tape a conversation in which O'Reilly again bragged about the robberies, said The Detroit News. Michigan was the first state to ban capital punishment in 1847, but the state can still impose the death penalty for federal capital crimes such as murder during a bank robbery.
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