Three people arrested in a string of bank robberies that stretched from Missouri to the Lone Star State pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges in Waco, Texas. Jeffrey Heckman, 26 and Jacob Norris, 24, both of Macon, as well as Alexia Baker, 23, of Shelbyville, admitted to their roles in bank heists in Hamilton, Brookfield, Blythedale, Columbia, and Temple, Texas. The trio was captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in early September. They are scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.
Excerpt from the Office of U.S. Attorney – Western District of Texas – Robert Pitman
Heckman, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of bank robbery and one count of carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. By pleading guilty, Heckman admitted to stealing a total of approximately $33,000 during the following bank robberies: the May 19, 2011 robbery of the Bank Northwest in Hamilton, MO; the June 1, 2011, robbery of a Preferred Bank in Brookfield, MO; June 21, 2011, robbery of the Citizen’s Bank of Blythesdale in Harrison County, MO, while carrying a shotgun; the July 8, 2011, robbery of the Merchant’s & Farmer’s Bank, 4000 Rangeline Street, in Columbia, MO; and, the July 11, 2011, robbery with a dangerous weapon of the Texell Credit Union, 3314 South 31st Street, in Temple, TX. As a result, Heckman faces a maximum of 25 years imprisonment for each bank robbery with a dangerous weapon charge; a maximum of 20 years imprisonment on each of the other bank robbery charges; and, a mandatory five years imprisonment for the firearm charge to run consecutive to the other sentences imposed.
Norris and Baker each pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting bank robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of bank robbery. By pleading guilty, Norris and Baker admitted that they served as the getaway driver and lookout, respectively, while Heckman robbed the Merchant’s and Farmer’s Bank. They also admitted to aiding and abetting Heckman while he robbed with a dangerous weapon the Texell Credit Union. As a result, Norris and Baker each face a maximum of 25 years imprisonment for the bank robbery with a dangerous weapon charge and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment for the bank robbery charge.