|Stock Photo by Cyan Li|
Two men were sentenced this morning for murder, bank robbery, and conspiracy relating to armored car robberies in Dearborn and Detroit, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced this morning. Shewas joined in this announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge Edward Hanko of the Detroit Division of the FBI.
U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts sentenced Kevin Watson, 41, and Norman Duncan, 42, both of Detroit. Mr. Watson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was convicted by a jury on November 22, 2011. Mr. Duncan was sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison, which will run consecutive to his state sentence for a third armored car robbery after pleading guilty on January 10.
Mr. Watson continued to maintain his innocence at his sentencing today. However, Judge Roberts stated that she believed the witnesses against him and found that he committed perjury when he testified.
The evidence presented during the trial showed that during the early morning hours of December 14, 2001, Watson, Duncan, and four other men robbed an armored truck delivering money to the ATM machines at the Dearborn Federal Credit Union, which is south of the Warrendale neighborhood. During the course of this robbery, armored truck guard Norman Anthony Stephens was shot in the back and killed with shotguns used by the robbers.
Mr. Watson, Mr. Duncan, and their fellow robbers escaped the scene with $204,000 in cash. At the time, Mr. Stephens and his two fellow guards were employees of Total Armored Car Services in Detroit. Mr. Stephens was married; he and his wife had six children. The evidence also showed that Mr. Duncan and two other men robbed an armored truck delivering money to an ATM at a Comerica Bank branch in Detroit on June 19, 2003. During the course of the robbery, armored truck guard Jonathan Smith was shot by the robbers.
Co-defendants Timothy O’Riley and Earl Johnson have been sentenced to life in prison. Co-defendants Khayyam Wilson and Henry Matthews are set to be sentenced on June 25 and Archie Broom is set for sentencing August 1.
“It is gratifying to see significant sentences for these defendants and to know that justice has been done for Norman Stephens and his family,” Ms. McQuade said in a prepared statement. “These sentences show that violent behavior that harms innocent people will result in severe consequences.”
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Chasteen, Kenneth Chadwell, and Maggie Smith.