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It is That Serious

Monday, December 3, 2007

Article published Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Former University student pleads guilty in bank robbery

READING, Ohio - A former University of City student has pleaded guilty for his role in robbing a bank July 17 in this Hamilton County city, authorities said.

Andrew Butler, 20, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts of aggravated robbery and six felony counts of kidnapping and is in the Hamilton County jail in Cincinnati without bond. He will be sentenced Dec. 27 and could face up to 20 years in prison, according to a bailiff for Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steven E. Martin.

Butler, a former U freshman majoring in theater, was on summer vacation at the time of the incident, according to U spokesman. His mother has contended that her son needed money for college tuition and other expenses.

"He just really was struggling, working two jobs here, you know, temp jobs, two jobs and trying to get the money," Franki Butler said this summer.

About 12:30 p.m. July 17, two men robbed the Valley Central Savings Bank of an undisclosed amount of money, Reading police said.

After the robbery, the men were seen changing vehicles in the Lincoln Heights area about two miles northwest of the bank. Later in the day, Cincinnati police officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of the one the men used last.

Officers stopped the vehicle and found Butler and Christopher Avery, 22, also of Cincinnati, inside and took them to the Reading Police Department for questioning. During the interview, both admitted to the bank robbery, Reading police said.

Still later, Reading police served search warrants at the men's respective residences and recovered a handgun and a shotgun believed to have been used in the robbery as well as most of the money taken in the robbery, officers said.

At the time of the incident, Avery was a student at the University of Cityb, according to his attorney.

Avery, who also pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of aggravated robbery and six counts of kidnapping, is also being held in the county jail without bond, pending his sentencing in court Dec. 27, the bailiff said.

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