An Orland Park man accused of robbing a TCF Bank branch in North Riverside pleaded guilty, June 5, in U.S. District court and is likely to serve 30-37 months in prison, according to court records.
Ronald Townsend, 45, remains in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. He previously had not entered a plea although he has been detained since his arrest in May 2011.
The court had been awaiting the results of a psychiatric evaluation, ordered in December, to determine whether Townsend was mentally competent to stand trial. On June 5, Judge John F. Grady found Townsend competent to enter the guilty plea. He will be sentenced on Oct. 3.
On March 23, 2011, Townsend walked up to a teller at the TCF Bank branch inside the Jewel/Osco at 7201 W. 24th St., implied he had a gun and demanded cash from the teller. According to court records, Townsend made off with $2,925.
Will County Sheriff’s Police arrested Townsend less than two months later after he reportedly robbed a payday loan store in Bolingbrook, allegedly forcing employees to the back of the store at gunpoint before leaving with $200. The FBI indicted Townsend for the North Riverside robbery in July 2011.
According to the plea declaration entered in federal court on June 5, the maximum sentence for bank robbery is 20 years in prison. However, Townsend’s attorney argued that he should be sentenced to between 30 and 37 months because he has accepted responsibility for the robbery and had no prior criminal record.
The court is not obliged to agree to the attorney’s interpretation of federal sentencing guidelines and may impose a sentence that is greater or less than the plea declaration argues.
Alleged bank robber quizzed over bail violations
Meanwhile, a 59-year-old Chicago woman, accused of robbing that same bank branch on March 21, 2012, is in hot water with the judge in that case over alleged violations of her bail conditions.
On June 13, Sharletta Shepard will appear before Judge Jeffrey Cole to show why the court should not revoke her bond. According to court records, Shepard is under home incarceration with electronic monitoring. While she may attend medical appointments and church services, records indicate Shepard has violated terms of her bond and that “any future violations will result in revocation of her bond.”
Shortly after being charged with the North Riverside robbery, Shepard was released on a $4,500 recognizance bond.
Shepard was captured by North Riverside police just minutes after she allegedly robbed the TCF Bank branch inside Jewel/Osco. According to police, she was wearing sunglasses and a wig when she walked up to the teller and handed her a note implying she had a gun and threatening to throw acid in her face. The teller allegedly gave $712 to Shepard who fled in a black car with no license plates.
Police pulled over a vehicle matching that description on Harlem Avenue in Oak Park. Shepard was reportedly still wearing the wig and sunglasses, and money fell out of her clothing when she was arrested.
Prosecutors are expected to indict Shepard by July 2.