Morgan County associate judge Jeffery Tobin sentenced 23-year-old Ashly Anderson to ten years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for her role in the crime.
Anderson staked out the bank by going into the building before the robbery, asked for directions, and reported information back to her co-defendants.
She was represented by court-appointed attorney Chad Turner. He asked for the minimum six-year sentence pointing to several factors, including the fact Anderson had no criminal history, and was coerced by the other co-defendants into committing the robbery.
Turner says the group went on a roadtrip with the intent to commit a crime to obtain money.
“I don’t think, at the time, it was contemplated that they would rob a ban. I think they intended to do drug transactions and perhaps rob the drug dealers,” says Turner.
“They weren’t intending to sell drugs or deliver drugs of any kind. They were likely going to rob the drug dealers, and I think once you realize how dangerous and how serious a situation she was in, it was too late for her.”
When making his case for a six-year sentence during the sentencing hearing, Turner pointed out Anderson suffered from Lupus and has two young children with co-defendant Sterling Martin.
During the hearing, Anderson told the judge she apologized for her actions and didn’t realize the emotional and mental pain her actions would cause the bank employees.
Morgan County state’s attorney Chris Reif asked for a ten-year sentence.
“I certainly believe that when you have a crime of this nature, not only do the bank tellers in Morgan County stand on a little more edge, but I think every employee that works in the business likely to be robbed is a little more nervous and a little less trusting of those who are walking in. So, it is a crime that affects our society as far as trust goes,” says Reif.
“But in the end, I have to look at not always just the results and the crime. You have to look at the factors in aggravation, the factors in mitigation, and what our law allows us to obtain. Based up on the previous sentences, I felt ten years would be appropriate here.”
Thirty-year-old Sterling Martin and 25-year-old Tiffany Oden have been sentenced to 18 and 12 years, respectively. A sentencing hearing for 28-year-old Demarco Watts is scheduled for March 5th.
The group entered banks in Beardstown and Industry before deciding to rob the bank in Chapin. Martin and Watts each brandished semi-automatic guns during the robbery. Nobody was physically harmed. The robbers were apprehended in Manchester after a high-speed pursuit on Route 67.
All of the defendants are from St. Louis.