D.C. Man Pleads Nolo Contendere in Bomb Threat Bank Robbery

By Amber Ferguson
|  Wednesday, Apr 3, 2013  |  Updated 6:07 PM EDT
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D.C. Man Pleads in Bomb Threat Bank Robbery

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A District man entered a plea of nolo contendere Wednesday in a bank robbery that occurred last spring.

Under the nolo contendere plea, John Morris, 64, has been convicted of the charge of bank robbery while armed, accepts responsibility, and agrees the government could prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, Morris does not admit to the facts of the case.

Just before noon March 22, 2012, Morris entered a TD Bank in the 1200 block of First Street NE. According to the government’s evidence, he wore a black jacket, black pants, black shoes, sunglasses and a cap. He demanded money from two bank tellers, claiming that he had a bomb. The tellers turned over about $3,700. Morris left a bag behind, which he claimed had the bomb, and warned that he could remotely control its detonation.

When Morris left the bank, two D.C. officers spotted him and he said, “Yeah, I did it. It’s rough out here.” Morris was arrested and could be seen clearly on video surveillance conducting the robbery.

Morris’ bomb threat led to an emergency response, and the bag left inside the bank contained an alarm clock, according to D.C. police.

The Honorable Richard W. Roberts scheduled sentencing for June 11. Morris faces a statutory maximum of 25 years in prison.

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