Young Sentencing Continued

Young Sentencing Continued

No conslusion in bank roberry case.

The Manassas man convicted last month for his involvement in robbing two Loudoun banks last year will have to wait until summer to learn his fate.

Friday, March 9, Judge James H. Chamblin delayed the sentencing of Ronald Michael Young, 35, until June 15, in order to take the outcome of the trial of Young's alleged partner, Geoffrey Logan Rogers, 42, into consideration.

"This judge would like to know what happens to Mr. Rogers first," Chamblin said.

FEB. 8, a jury recommended Young serve 40 years for robbery and conspiracy to commit a felony for the robberies of banks in Ashburn and Sterling that occurred only hours apart last year. The jury recommended 15 years for each of the robberies and five years for each of the conspiracy charges.

"The jury verdict was way over the top end of the guidelines," Chamblin said. "There's nothing that says the jury's recommendation is cast in stone."

Young and Rogers, who is from Kentucky, were charged with a series of robberies in Loudoun and Fairfax counties beginning in Fairfax on March 17, 2006. The two Loudoun robberies, at the BB&T bank in Ashburn's Junction Plaza and the Provident bank in Sterling's Commonwealth Plaza, were the last of the five robberies.

Jan. 29, a Fairfax County judge sent the charges against Rogers in the Fairfax robberies to a grand jury for possible indictment. The charges against Young in Fairfax were sent to the grand jury last October.

ACCORDING TO the Sheriff's Office, Rogers entered the Loudoun banks while Young waited outside in the car the two used to get away. While Rogers did not brandish a firearm during the robberies, in at least one of the banks he indicated that he was carrying one.

Rogers removed close to $5,000 from the Ashburn bank and $1,905 from the Sterling bank, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Sean Morgan, who is prosecuting both cases, said.

Rogers' trial in Loudoun is scheduled to begin April 23.

Commonwealth's Attorney James Plowman said that he and the Commonwealth's Attorney's office were very pleased with the verdict and the jury's recommended sentence in the Young case.

"It is a strong statement from the jury," he said. "Especially in light of the fact that he was a willing participant, but not the person who actually went into the bank."

However, it was the fact that Young did not enter the banks that kept Chamblin from rendering a sentence last week. He said since Rogers was the person who did the robberies, he does not want to risk Young receiving a stricter sentence than Rogers.

"It would bother me considerably if Mr. Young is sentenced in this case and the jury [in Rogers' case] fixes a sentence lower than Mr. Young's recommended sentence," he said. "If that occurs that would almost be a travesty of justice."

AS THE CASE against Rogers prepares to go to court, Chamblin also granted a motion Friday afternoon filed by Rogers' attorney, Loudoun public defender Bonnie Hoffman. The motion suppressed Rogers' possessions that were given to investigators by Young's wife.

"There has been no argument about the significance of the fact that Mrs. Young voluntarily turned them over to police," Chamblin said. "She knew why the police were there; she knew they were looking for Mr. Rogers."

Rogers had been staying at the Young's apartment, but Chamblin said that did not mean Rogers had lost his right to privacy.

"It doesn't rise to the belief that Mr. and Mrs. Young had the right to hand over Mr. Rogers' bags," he said.

While Morgan said he could not comment on an ongoing case, he said the decision ruled out "certain physical evidence that was recovered from [Rogers] possession. Even with Chamblin's decision, Morgan said, the case is moving ahead as scheduled.