By TAMMIE TOLER
PRINCETON — Amy Rebecca Davis worked inside two local banks before she decided to rob one in June 2009.
The 32-year-old Mercer County woman was sentenced to five to 18 years in a state penitentiary for the second-degree robbery she blamed on an OxyContin addiction.
According to Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn’s review of the case, Davis entered the Mercer Mall branch of First Community Bank around 2 p.m. June 26, 2009. She reportedly handed the teller a note that advised her, “Do not say a word. Do not push any alarms.”
The robbery note further instructed the bank employee to empty both of her cash drawers and quietly hand the contents over within 30 seconds. Otherwise, Davis allegedly indicated she had a firearm and would begin shooting inside the bank.
Aboulhosn said a “good Samaritan” learned of the robbery and followed Davis until Bluefield Police officers could detain her and locate the approximately $2,800 she allegedly hoped to use for drugs.
Davis has remained in custody at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver since her arrest. Meanwhile, her husband was serving a tour of duty in Iraq, and her child from a previous marriage remained in a family member’s home.
Ironically, the trauma robbery can cause was not new to Davis. She was the bank teller on duty when First Century Bank’s Springhaven Drive branch was robbed in 2007 by a fugitive who excelled at heists. Though that wasn’t a large factor in her sentencing, Aboulhosn listed it as a mitigating factor as he figured her penalty.
Her defense attorneys, Tim and Joe Harvey, and her extended family argued Monday that the drugs turned Davis into a person they didn’t know.
“I’ve known Amy since she was brought home from the hospital,” retired educator Jane McGrady said, also testifying that she taught Davis in the fifth grade at Thorn School. “She was an honor student. She was a model student for other students.”
The teacher described a younger Davis as timid and self-disciplined, and she was proud of Davis when she encountered her during her career at BB&T and First Century.
“The Amy that I know was jut a model person, a model young woman,” McGrady said. “The Amy that I know would not have done what she’s accused of.”
Davis’s mother, Mary Coy, also asked the court to consider home confinement in her Village Green residence as a punishment, pledging that she would provide a positive atmosphere for drug rehabilitation and oversight for the daughter who admitted to robbing a bank.
Coy also blamed drugs for Davis’s evolution.
“She just became a different person, kind of distant,” Coy testified.
Although Aboulhosn said he understood the arguments for leniency, he said home confinement and probation simply weren’t appropriate in the case.
“This crime is a very serious crime ... I think it all relates to drug use,” Aboulhosn said. “I can’t use that as an excuse not to do what’s right in this case.”
The judge said sending Davis home, instead of to prison, would send a terrible message to the community.
“That would send the message that if you’re on drugs, you can rob a bank,” he said.
Aboulhosn did note that Davis would receive credit for the 255 days, or 8 1/2 months, she has already served in the Southern Regional Jail, and she was immediately remanded back to that facility to await a more permanent placement in the state penitentiary system.
— Contact Tammie Toler at email@example.com.
By TAMMIE TOLER
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