Man who robbed and terrorized sentenced
Published 8:04 pm Saturday, July 17, 2004
By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- The president of First Saving Bank told the Cass County Circuit Court Friday of how his employees still remember Aug. 3, 2001, when his Union Branch was robbed and they were terrorized.
He explained to Judge Michael E. Dodge how those at the five banks are family.
His manager at Union was one of his best, yet she was unable to continue there following the robbery. At their yearly security training, the robbery continues to affect them emotionally.
At the trial of the accused, Wayne B. Keesling, 31, of Mishawaka, Ind., in June, the employees still shook on the stand and cried "tears of terror," during testimony, said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz . "It was 10 minutes of terror. The testimony was compelling."
More than $10,000 was taken, and Keesling was said to have brandished his handgun at the tellers and even customers he encountered on the way out of the bank. He fled in a stolen pick-up.
Dodge listed Keesling's previous bank robberies in Indiana in June and July of the same year, including one on Sept. 2, 2001, when he was finally apprehended and sentenced to 20 years in Indiana.
Keesling continued to proclaim his innocence to the Union robbery, even though he had at one time admitted it. He also admitted, Fitz said, to have stolen 200 vehicles in his lifetime. At Keelsing's trial last month, it only took the jury 45 minutes to convict him.
Dodge sentenced him to 20 to 40 years for armed robbery, to be served concurrently with two to five years for felon in possession of a firearm. These sentences are to be concurrent with his Indiana sentences, with a consecutive and preceding two year sentence for felony firearm.
He is to pay $450 court costs, $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment. He has 134 days credit.
In other sentencings:
Bussler is to pay $450 court costs, $350 attorney fee, $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment.
Craig Danzy of Dad's Detail Car Wash, on State St., Cassopolis, told Dodge Crider was working for him. The people close to him have forgiven him, said Attorney Dale Blunier of Edwardsburg.
Attorney Jim Miller had represent Crider on the larceny case, but Blunier did on another charge of unlawful use of a vehicle. On May 13, 2004, Crider took his grandmother's car with out permission.
Crider was sentenced to two concurrent sentences of 60 days in jail, which was suspended for 90 days. "It's in your hands," said Dodge, as to whether he follows the rules on his two-year probation and never has to serve more than his one day credit.
Crider is to pay two sets of $450 court costs, $350 attorney fee, $60 Crime Victims fee, and $60 court assessment, along with probation fees.
For attempting breaking and entering an unoccupied building, he was sentenced to two years probation, with 90 days in the County Jail, with credit for one day.
He is to pay $960 probation fees, $450 court costs, $60 Crime Victims fee, a $60 court assessment, and $1,379 restitution.
On May 1, 2004, he was smoking cocaine with a friend, in front of her two children, ages four and seven, Dodge said.
He is to pay $450 court costs, $350 attorney fee, $60 Crime Victims fee, a $60 court assessment, and probation fees of $25 a month.
He was sentenced to 300 days in jail, with credit for 53. He is to pay $60 Crime Victims fee, and a $60 court assessment.
He is to pay $1,440 in probation fees, $450 court costs, $60 Crime Victims fee, a $60 court assessment, and restitution.