Suspects in Vail bank robbery to plead guilty
VAIL – The two young men accused of robbing a Vail bank in March have agreed to plead guilty, but how long they might spend in prison may not be known until September or later. Luke Carroll, an Australian, and Anthony Prince, who is from New Zealand – both 19 – were arrested in March after allegedly holding up the WestStar Bank in Vail with BB guns. Police said the two men, who worked at a Vail Village ski shop, took more than $130,000. They were arrested the day after the robbery at Denver International Airport attempting to fly to Mexico.
Prince decided to plead guilty after consulting with his lawyer, said Warren Williamson, the federal public defender who is representing the man. “But he’s accepted his responsibility from the first day he was arrested,” Williamson said Wednesday. The two men, now in federal custody, face a maximum of 25 years in prison. They will appear in court in mid-June and, Williamson said, they are likely to be sentenced 10 weeks to three months later.
Both men can change their decision and plead not guilty before their hearings in June, said Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver. Carroll’s attorney, Daniel Smith, would not discuss how his client reached the decision to plead guilty. He also would not say what type of sentence he would seek for his client.
“He’s just fine,” Smith said of his client. The Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to strike down mandatory sentencing guidelines may give the lawyers more leeway to seek shorter sentences for the two men, Williamson said. “I think he’s trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Williamson said of his client’s life in custody. “He’s trying not to waste his time. He’s doing everything he can to turn this into a constructive experience.”
“He’s behaving himself in jail and staying in touch with family and friends,” Williamson said. Vail, Colorado
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