A Missouri couple pleaded guilty Thursday to an indictment charging them with robbing a bank in Columbia, Ill.
Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said Darren E. Everett, 43, and his companion, Mackenzie A. Leonard, 28, both of St. Louis, face a term of imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine up to $250,000, or both, and not more than five years of supervised release.
Sentencing for both of them is scheduled for Dec.19 in East St. Louis, Illinois. Both are currently detained in St. Louis on unrelated charges.
The bank robbery occurred on Feb. 4, 2013, when Everett and his girlfriend, Leonard, robbed the Commerce Bank in Columbia of approximately $1,782. Some $250 of this amount was bait money. Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing showed that Leonard went inside the bank disguised as an elderly woman. As she approached the teller, she handed the teller a note indicating that she had a gun and demanded money. Once she was given the money, she exited the bank.
Officers arrested Everett and Leonard at their residence in Chesterfield, Mo., on Feb. 8, 2013. Both were taken to the Town and Country Police Department in Missouri. Two of the $50 bait bills from the Commerce Bank were found in Everett’s wallet at the time of his arrest. Both Everett and Leonard admitted their role in the robbery of the Commerce Bank in Columbia.
Both also indicated that some items from the robbery would be found in a pink suitcase in the master bedroom of their residence. Everett consented to law enforcement officers searching their residence. During the search, officers found a pink suitcase in the master bedroom. Inside the suitcase, officers recovered items worn by Leonard during the robbery, as well as the purse she used with the note still inside.
The case was investigated by the Columbia Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Town and Country Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.