Bank robbery suspects plead not guilty

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Four bank robbery suspects pled not guilty in federal court this morning.

Vincent Savageau and Demetrius Freeman are accused of robbing several Columbia County banks, and may be involved in several other robberies across Georgia and South Carolina.

Adrian Branham and Isaac Dobe also face charges for possible involvement.

The defendants made their first appearance in federal court June 21 before federal prosecutors and judge Leon Barfield.

They heard all ten counts, ranging from bank robbery possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

FBI agent Ed Reinhold says more charges could be on the way.

"We're still investigating those angles, they could be tied to numerous robberies in South Carolina," he says.

Isaac Dobe's wife Barbara says her husband does not deserve the 25 year maximum that most of the charges require.

"I hope it work out...just praying and asking God to work things out," she says.

All four men are in county detention centers on other charges, and that's where they returned after pleading not guilty at the hearing.

The defendants are scheduled to return to court June 28, and some of the attorneys may make a motion for bond.

"Speaking only for my client, I'm confident with the outcome of this case," says Dobe's attorney Jonathan Chaplain.

Judge Barfield says he cannot grant bond while the defendants are still in county jail. Prosecutors argue the defendants should not get bond either way.

Agent Reinhold says his investigation continues.

"Those banks are federally insured, so it's a federal offense within itself," he says.

Federal offenses which could mean decades in federal prison.

The next hearing will be Wednesday, June 28 in district court. One of the attorneys plans to ask for a speedy trial. The trial will take place within about ten weeks.


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