Already found guilty of robbing three local banks, Ronald Michael Young is now racking up prison time for each conviction. His first Fairfax County sentencing was last Friday, with the judge imposing the six years previously recommended by a jury.
Young, 39, was convicted of robbing two banks in Chantilly and one in Fair Lakes, and he was sentenced last week for the March 17, 2006 heist at the United Bank in Fair Lakes.
As details of the crimes unfolded in court, over the last several months, it turned out that Young, of Manassas, drove the getaway car. His longtime friend, Geoffrey Rogers, 43, of Paducah, Ky., actually committed the robberies. But in the eyes of the law, they're equally guilty.
THE PAIR had met during a previous prison stint and reunited after both were released. And together, they robbed three banks in Fairfax County and two in Loudoun County.
Authorities captured them April 16, 2006 in Prince William County, after a carjacking attempt that went awry. And they've now been convicted of the following 2006 bank robberies:
* March 17 - United Bank, Fair Lakes Shopping Center, Fairfax.
* March 28 — BB&T Bank, Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly.
* March 30 — Virginia Commerce Bank, Metrotech Drive, Chantilly; BB&T Bank, Ashburn; and Provident Bank, Sterling.
During Young's first trial here, April 10, a jury of seven men and five women listened intently while a Fair Lakes United Bank teller described what happened to her when that bank was robbed. She said that, just before 10 a.m., a man in a black jacket and gray hat approached her.
"He said, 'All your money you have — give it to me so nobody will get hurt,'" said the teller. "He said it to me very loud. We had been trained not to put our lives in jeopardy and to give the money, so I gave him all I had."
SHE SAID she had $1,800 in her first cash drawer and the robber told her to give him 100s and 50s. "But I was so confused, I gave him everything — the whole $1,800," said the woman. "He put it inside his jacket, turned around and left the bank. My other colleague pushed the button for security, and she screamed because I was speechless; I'd never been robbed before."
Under cross examining from defense attorney Lavonda Graham, the teller said the robber wasn't in the courtroom and she hadn't seen him get into a car afterward. Then Erica Ownby — a United Bank security officer who deals with robbery response — testified. She said she made photos of the robber taken with the bank's surveillance cameras and gave them to police.
Det. Gary Bailey testified that, after police released the suspect's photo, they received a tip from Christine Young (the defendant's sister), and Bailey then went to the Prince William jail to interview her brother. The detective said Young told him Rogers got less than $2,000 from the robbery and that Rogers pulled the heist and he, Young, was the driver.
"[Young] said he'd parked Rogers' car near some apartments behind the bank and that the bank had a green sign," added Bailey. "And he said [the robbery] happened on St. Patrick's Day."
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Camille Turner asked Bailey, "What did this defendant tell you about the amount of money he received [from the robbery]?" And Bailey replied: "He mentioned he'd only received about $850 to assist with rent payment."
ROGERS HIMSELF testified and said Young didn't take part in the Fair Lakes robbery. But Turner got Rogers to admit he'd been convicted of more than five felonies — including several crimes of moral turpitude involving lying, cheating or stealing. He also admitted under oath that he'd known Young for 12 years and had met him while both were serving time in federal prison.
Young also testified, denying any participation in the bank robbery. But he, too, had to admit his own, prior convictions for two felonies, including those involving "moral turpitude."
In the end, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and recommended Young be sentenced to six years in prison. And last Friday, July 20, Circuit Court Judge Jane Roush imposed the jury's recommendation. She also placed Young on three years post-release supervision.
But last week's sentencing doesn't close the book on him. Young still has two more court appearances — for two more sentencings — ahead of him. And the prison time he receives from them will be added onto last Friday's punishment — as well as the 20 years incarceration he already received from Loudoun County.
As for Rogers, he's already been sentenced by both counties. He received 42 years total for the five bank robberies — 24 years from Fairfax County and 18 years from Loudoun.