Following his indictment last week by a Fairfax County grand jury on bank robbery and firearms charges, a Penderbrook man pleaded guilty Monday to all counts in Circuit Court.
He is David Brian Clark, 37, of the 3900 block of Penderview Drive in Fairfax. But before accepting his pleas, Judge Leslie Alden made sure he understood fully what he was doing.
"Are you entering pleas of guilty because you are guilty of these charges?" she asked. "Yes," replied Clark. The judge also noted that, earlier, the commonwealth had dropped other, related charges against him in General District Court. She also reminded Clark that, in the cases now before her, no prior agreement had been made with regard to his sentencing.
"Do you understand that, by pleading guilty, you give up your right to a jury trial and to cross-examine any witnesses against you?" asked Alden. Again, Clark answered, "Yes."
Clark is charged with three counts of bank robbery and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Alden advised him that he could receive possible life sentences for each of the robberies, plus mandatory three-year sentences for each of the firearms offenses.
Then Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kelly Pearson explained what the prosecution's evidence would have been, had these cases gone to trial. All the crimes were at BB&T banks in 2006.
The first robbery occurred April 3 at the BB&T Bank at 7393-A Lee Highway in Falls Church. "The defendant entered the bank and yelled, 'Get your hands up and give me your money or I'll shoot you all,'" said Pearson. "He pointed a gun with a flashlight on it at all the tellers. [One of them] gave him $1,500 and a dye pack [which later exploded]."
The second robbery was May 9 at the BB&T at 7000 Bland St. in Springfield. Pearson said Clark stepped inside the bank and ordered a teller to "put your hands on your head and give me your money."
Then, she said, he told the teller to give him large bills and no dye pack. But the teller didn't comply fully. Said Pearson: "She gave him money and a dye pack."
For the third robbery, May 11, Clark returned to the same BB&T in Falls Church that he'd robbed in April. "He pointed a gun at [the teller] and told her to take the money out and put it into his black backpack," said Pearson. "The teller did, and he received $5,600 in cash."
Police Det. J.D. Vickery investigated the case and, in an Aug. 24 affidavit for a warrant to search Clark's home for possible evidence, he wrote that witnesses' descriptions of the robber and his attire — as well as his backpack and handgun — were the same at both banks.
Photographs of all three bank heists were placed into the Fairfax County Crime Solvers bulletins and, on Aug. 23, police received an anonymous tip that the person in the photos was David Clark. They also learned he was currently in jail on narcotics charges.
Vickery then questioned Clark about the bank robberies and charged him with these crimes, plus the weapons offenses. Said Pearson: "After being read his Miranda rights, the defendant confessed to all three robberies."
Last Tuesday, Feb. 20, the grand jury indicted him on five charges: Three counts of bank robbery and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. And on Monday, Feb. 26 — wearing the green outfit of a jail prisoner — Clark entered his pleas.
Judge Alden then found him guilty and ordered a pre-sentencing report be done on him. She set his sentencing for May 18 and told him, "Any bond you may have is revoked, and you're remanded to the custody of the sheriff."