Latest 411 on Cell-Phone Bandit

Latest 411 on Cell-Phone Bandit

There have been some new developments in the cell-phone bank-robber case. Chantilly teen-ager Candice Rose Martinez, 19, of 4001 Spring Pond Place in the Shenandoah Crossing apartments, became notorious recently for allegedly holding up four area banks while talking on a cell phone.

She and her boyfriend, Dave Chatram Williams, 19, of the same address, were both charged, last week, with bank robbery — he's reportedly admitted driving the getaway car. And the FBI says they've both confessed to robbing four Wachovia banks — in Springfield and Vienna in Fairfax County, in Manassas in Prince William County and in Ashburn in Loudoun County.

Last week, Fairfax County police charged Martinez with the Springfield heist, and the Loudoun Sheriff's Office charged her with the Ashburn stickup — during which she allegedly displayed a gun in her purse. Meanwhile, the FBI charged Williams with the Vienna bank robbery.

At the FBI's request, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. agreed to drop this county's charge against Martinez, and Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert didn't charge her, at all — so that the FBI could prosecute her on a federal level.

Last week, the FBI said it would be merely a "formality" to get Loudoun to drop its charge, too, so the FBI could have first crack at trying Martinez. However, Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman had other ideas.

Not only didn't he drop his county's charge, but he had Martinez transferred to Loudoun's Adult Detention Center and he intends for Loudoun to be the first jurisdiction to bring her to justice. She has a Jan. 17 court date there. And if Horan should decide to do so, he can still charge her with the bank robbery in Vienna.

<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs