Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 19, 2014

Escape, attempted robbery charges on grand jury list

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A Mercer County man who allegedly caused the September 2013 evacuation of a federal courthouse and a woman who allegedly attempted to rob a Bluefield branch bank in April have been indicted by the Mercer County grand jury.

Michael Cunningham, 51, of Camp Creek, was on home confinement and facing charges including obtaining money under false pretenses and conspiracy when he allegedly cut off his monitoring bracelet and mailed it to the Elizabeth Kee Federal Building in downtown Bluefield.

An X-ray detector at the federal building sensed electronic equipment. The building was evacuated and the Bluefield Police Department detoured traffic until troopers with the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment determined the package was not a bomb.

Cunningham was arrested December 2013 in North Carolina, where he was facing multiple charges of failure to appear in court. The Mercer County grand jury has indicted him on a charge of escape.

The June 2014 indictments include the case of Beverly Mangum, 51, of Bluefield. Mangum was charged in connection with the attempted armed robbery April 12 of the First Century Bank on College Avenue in Bluefield.

A surveillance camera recorded how a woman alleged to be Mangum entered the bank, approached the counter and gave a teller a note demanding money. The note indicated that a handgun the suspect brandished would be used if the teller did not comply, according to an earlier report by Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.

The teller, who was attempting to comply, dropped some change and hit a panic button.

The suspect became nervous and fled the bank without any money.

Mangum said later at her arraignment that she was sorry for her actions.

Mangum is currently at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com