Central Texas bank robbery suspect makes court appearance

Surveillance photo. (Killeen Police Dept.)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A Killeen man being held on a federal bank robbery charge appeared in magistrate’s court Tuesday where he was ordered detained and was appointed counsel.

Federal magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske ordered Marcus Delars Branson to remain in federal custody while he awaits more court appearances and appointed Waco attorney Adam C. Hoffman to represent him after another attorney asked to be relieved.

An affidavit presented during the hearing Tuesday shows FBI investigators were able to identify the man who robbed the bank and through a series of other clues were able to verify their identification.

The man who confronted a teller at First National Bank, at 2201 Trimmier Road, Killeen on Nov. 30, 2017, wore black clothing and shoes, said nothing, and covered his face with some sort of cloth.

He presented a hand-written note to the teller that said: “Stay calm and remain professional. I need all the money in your drawer. Failure to give me all the money within 60 seconds will result in major repercussions. Give me my note back before getting the money.”

The teller did what the man asked, handed over more than $1,200 in cash, and the robber left the building on foot, she told investigators.

Agents retrieved the bank’s video surveillance and spoke with several neighbors who witnessed activity on the day of the robbery.

Then, unknown at the time to federal agents, Fort Hood’s Criminal Investigation Division was conducting a separate surveillance on a residence on post when they discovered the bank robbery suspect’s car was parked at their target residence.

Undercover photos taken of the car showed two men getting out at the residence a short time after the robbery, one of them dressed in clothing that matched the suspect’s clothing.

During CID’s investigation, agents obtained disposed trash from the residence and found a torn note,” the affidavit said.

“Once pieced back together, the note was shown to the victim teller who, with 100% accuracy, identified the note as the one presented to her.”

CID also related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that they had been conducting 24-hour surveillance at the residence.