Niles bank robbery suspect pleads not guiltyPublished 2:07pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013
A Benton Harbor man says he’s not guilty of robbing the Chemical Bank in Niles last month.
Richard David Smith, 44, pleaded not guilty to one count of felony bank robbery by force or violence Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids in front of Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman.
An order of detention was signed, meaning Smith will remain in the Newaygo County Jail in White Cloud until trial. The jail houses inmates for the West Michigan District of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Next up for Smith is a pretrial conference, which has not yet been scheduled.
Smith is accused of stealing $1,800 from Chemical Bank Feb. 15. He allegedly presented the bank teller with a note demanding money and threatening to blow up the bank if police were called.
No bomb was found in the bank, and no one was injured.
Smith was arrested five days after the robbery on Feb. 20 at his brother’s residence in Benton Harbor.
He was moved to Federal Court last week from Berrien County South County Court. Federal prosecution is possible in bank robbery cases.
The maximum penalty for bank robbery in Michigan is life in prison.