Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Temple Bank Robber Convicted

Even with some highly unusual testimony, a man was convicted of a Temple bank robbery.
The last witness called by defense attorney Michael White testified that Myhand was not the person who robbed Guaranty Federal Bank in Temple on Dec. 20, 2007. Instead, Derrick Johnson, a supervisor at Integrico Composites in Temple, said the man in security photos from the bank was his former employee, Cedric Johnson.

Prosecutors Mike Waldman and Nelson Barnes were clearly taken by surprise when White told them minutes in advance about what Johnson would be testifying about.

As White questioned Johnson, prosecutor Kara Schneible, who was not one of the prosecutors assigned to the case, made two trips to the District Attorney’s Office in an attempt to retrieve information about either Johnson.

Ms. Schneible returned with a copy of a driver’s license photo of a Cedric Johnson but with no way to confirm he was the right Cedric Johnson, prosecutors did not use the information.

Derrick Johnson was clear in his assertion that his former employee was the bank robber based on the photo taken from the bank. He even said Cedric Johnson, who he said was terminated in February 2008, often wore a blue jumpsuit and liked to tie a do-rag to his head, which matched the clothing the robber was wearing. Source: Temple Daily Telegram

What I find a little troubling, especially in light of all the problems with eye witness testimony that have come about in recent years is this:
The state’s main witness, bank teller Betty Dare, identified Myhand as the robber in court, although she was not able to pick him out of a photo lineup. Source: Temple Daily Telegram

I hope that the decision to convict was not only based on her testimony. The newspaper article doesn't really go into detail on that.

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