Copperas Cove: Man, Girlfriend Plead Guilty To Robbing Local Bank

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

COPPERAS COVE (January 17, 2013)--A man and his girlfriend pleaded guilty in Waco's federal court Thursday to charges stemming from the September 2012 robbery of a bank in Copperas Cove.

U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith set John Russell Lightner and Michelle Portwood for sentencing on March 13.

Lightner pleaded guilty to a superseding indictment charging bank robbery and Portwood pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact.

In a criminal complaint presented Thursday state Lightner and Portwood on Sept. 27, 2012, conspired to rob the Fort Hood National Bank, located at 210 Constitution Drive #B, in Copperas Cove.

The complaint further states that at approximately 10:12 a.m., a man armed with a handgun entered the bank and demanded money from the teller after he presented her a note.

After the teller turned over approximately $2,455 in cash, the robber then fled, but later was seen getting into the passenger seat of a small, light colored four-door vehicle.

Investigators eventually were led to a residence at 1702
Sherman Drive in Killeen, where the set up surveillance and soon were able to identify a suspect that resembled the robber.

Killeen police later stopped the suspect vehicle and arrested the driver on an outstanding warrant.

The driver, identified as Lightner, later admitted during an interview that that it was he who entered and robbed the bank in Copperas Cove on.

Lightner said he robbed the bank because Portwood, his girlfriend, was behind on her rent and needed the money.

Portwood also confessed to being the driver of the car that picked up Lightner after the robbery, the complaint says.

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