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Young Found Guilty of Bank Robbery

Six years prison is jury's recommendation.

There's not much left for Ronald Michael Young to do now except add up all his prison sentences to see how long he'll be spending behind bars.

On April 10 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, a jury found him guilty of robbing the United Bank in Fair Lakes on March 17, 2006. The jurors recommended he serve six years in prison, and he'll learn his punishment when he's sentenced July 20.

On June 15, in Loudoun County Circuit Court, Young was sentenced for two bank robberies there, as well. Both were perpetrated March 30, 2006, at the BB&T Bank in Ashburn and Provident Bank in Sterling. For his part in these crimes, Young received 20 years in prison.

AND NOW, following a trial, this Monday-Tuesday, June 25-26, in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Young's been convicted again. This time, he was found guilty of the March 28, 2006 robbery of the BB&T Bank on Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Chantilly.

And just as in his first trial here, the jury of six men and six women recommended he spend six years in the penitentiary. His sentencing is set for Aug. 10.

And still, Young is not yet done. He's slated for one more jury trial in this county, July 10, for the March 30, 2006 robbery of the Virginia Commerce Bank on Metrotech Drive in Chantilly.

Actually, Young wasn't the person who robbed the five banks — three in Fairfax and two in Loudoun — but he did drive the getaway car. And in the eyes of the law, that's enough too convict him, too.

The robber was Geoffrey Rogers, now 43, of Paducah, Ky. He and Young, now 39, of Manassas, met during a prior prison stint and got together again after they were both released.

Early last year, they embarked upon a three-county crime spree and were captured April 16, 2006 in Prince William County. Police there arrested them pair after a reported carjacking of an SUV in Manassas. They were apprehended after crashing the vehicle.

Now, Rogers has been sentenced to 42 years total for the five bank robberies — 24 years from Fairfax County and 18 years from Loudoun. Young's already facing 20 years, with a possible 12 years more — not to mention any further time he might receive after his July trial here.

Rogers pleaded guilty to all five crimes, but Young is putting the legal system through its paces, insisting on three, separate jury trials for each Fairfax County robbery. This week's trial was held in courtroom 4G before Circuit Court Judge Arthur Vierreg.

Rogers even testified on Young's behalf, saying Young wasn't the one who'd driven him to and from the banks. But since the two were friends — and Rogers admitted he'd been convicted of 14 previous felonies — the jury found his words a bit hard to believe.

THE VEHICLE used was Rogers' Toyota Camry. And in an April 24, 2006 affidavit for a warrant to search it, Fairfax County police Det. Gary Bailey wrote that — following their arrests — Rogers confessed to committing the robberies and Young admitted driving the getaway car.

In court Monday, the Chantilly BB&T Bank teller testified first. She said she has two drawers containing cash at her station and, on the day of the robbery, only she and two other tellers were there. There were no other customers when the robber entered, shortly before 1 p.m.

She said a man with a cap in his hand approached her, so she asked him, "May I help you?" To her surprise, she said, "He leaned on my window and said, very slowly, 'Give me all your fifties and hundreds.' I realized I was being robbed, but I didn't have very much [money]."

"So because I only had $100 or $200, he said, 'Give me all the money you have,'" the woman continued. "I took out my drawer, and he took it all — twenties, tens and fives — even the ones. After that, we did an audit, and it came up $1,400 short."

During the robbery, she said she tried to get the other tellers' attention, but Rogers caught her: "He saw me and said, 'Don't do that,' and I told him, 'Don't yell at me,' and then the others looked. Once he left, I told them I'd been robbed."

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Camille Turner asked the teller if she'd been trained on what to do in the event of a robbery. And she replied, "Our policy is, if they demand money, you just give it to them."

Defense attorney Lavonda Graham asked the teller if she saw the robber in the courtroom, and she said no (Rogers didn't come from jail to testify until much later). "Did he say 'we' or imply he was with anyone?" asked Graham. "No," answered the teller. And when Graham pointed to Young and asked the teller if she'd ever seen him before, she again said, "No."

Magda Bous, teller supervisor at Chantilly's BB&T branch, said her back was to the teller, at first, but she turned toward her after hearing her make some noise. "I saw her pass all the money to this gentleman," said Bous. "When I saw that, I set off the [silent] alarm with my hand."

"It was so scary," she said. "He wasn't even out of the doorway, and I closed the door behind him. He looked at me and I made myself freeze, and then he left, and I told everybody we'd been robbed. I was shocked — what was going on?"

"I WAS SHAKING, and I had to calm everybody down," continued Bous. "It had never happened to me before, and I hope it never does again." She, too, said the robber wasn't in the courtroom, but added that "the bank has video cameras with very clear pictures" of him.

Det. Bailey said those photos were released to the media to develop a suspect, and then a Crime Solvers tip pegged Rogers as the culprit. He said Rogers had stayed with Young and his family for awhile.

When he interviewed Young in the Prince William jail, said Bailey, "Young said Rogers had gone into the [Chantilly BB&T] bank; [Young] indicated that he was the driver in that bank robbery. He said Rogers gave him $850 proceeds from the robbery to help with his rent."

Bailey also testified that Young had told him Rogers had smoked cigarettes prior to the robbery — something he wouldn't have known unless he was there.

Rogers was the only witness for the defense, denying that Young had driven the getaway car. However, under cross examination, Turner got him to admit that he'd been convicted of crimes some 14 times and knew Young for 12 years.

Rogers also stated that he and Young — who he referred to as "Ronnie" — had written letters to each other since their arrests. And he told Turner he'd robbed the Chantilly BB&T Bank to obtain money for drugs and living expenses.

Rogers said Young had no prior knowledge that he was going to rob the bank, although he noted that the clothing he'd worn during that incident was in Young's home. Said Rogers: "I told Ronnie about the bank robberies while we were in the Prince William [jail] together on another charge."

However, the jury didn't buy his story and, after deliberating, they pronounced Young guilty and recommended a six-year sentence.