Man Admits Robbing Two Banks in Amarillo in One Week
LUBBOCK, TX—Michael Murray, 30, most recently of Arizona, pleaded guilty this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to one count of bank robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Murray, who remains in federal custody, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date was not set.
According to documents filed in the case, Murray admitted committing the August 27, 2014, robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank located at 1838 S. Georgia Street in Amarillo and the September 2, 2014, robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank located at 200 S. Washington Street in Amarillo. Murray claimed he committed the robberies because he was short of money after moving to Amarillo and trying to care for his family.
He committed both robberies during the early afternoon hours. He entered each bank, wearing a dark cap and sunglasses, and in each robbery, he presented a threatening demand note to a teller. On one of the notes, he wrote, “Put all the money in the bag and nobody gets hurt I know where you work so be smart.” A hangman, smiley face, stitches, and a tombstone with the letters “RIP” were also drawn on the note. During each robbery, a teller gave him cash and afterwards, he fled on foot. Video surveillance from both robberies showed the robber to be the same person. Video surveillance from nearby businesses showed that following the August 27 robbery, he later drove a silver minivan with no front license plate and no visible registration or inspection stickers in the front windshield.
The day after the September 2 robbery, however, an officer with the Amarillo Police Department spotted and stopped what appeared to be the silver mini-van from the August 27 robbery. Murray was the driver of the vehicle. Officers then searched his vehicle and residence and additional evidence, including clothing worn during the robberies and cash taken from the banks, was found.
The FBI and the Amarillo Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Hammer and Joshua Frausto are prosecuting.