Hogsett Announces Federal Charges Against Two Individuals After Plainfield Bank Robbery
Pair Facing Prosecution as Part of U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 14, 2013|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the filing of federal charges against Demetrius Worley, age 24, and Lori A. Armstrong, age 44, both of Indianapolis. The pair are alleged to have committed an armed robbery of the State Bank of Lizton branch in Plainfield, and they were arrested after leading law enforcement on chases both in an automobile and on foot.
“The allegations in this case describe violent behavior with no regard for the safety of others,” Hogsett said. “Through our Violent Crime Initiative, we are cracking down on armed robberies and the tragedies that can result from such lawless behavior.”
According to a criminal complaint filed today, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force were investigating an armed robbery of the First Financial Bank branch on Madison Avenue in Indianapolis. As part of that investigation, a vehicle that was believed to have been connected to that robbery was being tracked by federal law enforcement.
On May 10, 2013, task force members tracked that vehicle from Indianapolis to Plainfield. Task force members then allegedly observed two males, defendant Worley and William McKnight, enter the State Bank of Lizton branch, at which point an alert was issued that an armed robbery might be in progress.
Worley and McKnight were allegedly observed leaving the bank and reentering the vehicle, and a pursuit of that vehicle began. The vehicle was next observed pulled over on the side of the road, and McKnight allegedly exited the vehicle before it sped away. McKnight was armed and refused to comply with orders to disarm. He was shot and is now deceased.
A pursuit of the vehicle continued, and, after a traffic stop, defendant Armstrong was brought into custody. Defendant Worley, who had allegedly exited the vehicle earlier, was later brought into custody after being located in a nearby residential neighborhood. A search of the vehicle allegedly revealed clothing consistent with what the robbers were observed wearing, and a search of the nearby neighborhood revealed a purple bag containing approximately $6,900, consistent with the amount of loss suffered by the State Bank of Lizton.
According to court documents, defendant Worley is currently on parole relating to a conviction for bank robbery. A review of prison visitation records show that Worley visited McKnight while McKnight was incarcerated. This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Hendricks County law enforcement partners..
Announced in March 2011, the Violent Crime Initiative represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities. The VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook who is prosecuting the case for the government, both defendants could face lengthy periods in federal prison if they are convicted, as well as terms of federally supervised release.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.