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Suspect in Lima bank robbery in court

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LIMA — A Lima man accused of robbing a bank on the city’s east side earlier this year appeared briefly in court on Monday for a suppression hearing requested by his attorney. Steve Chamberlain of the Allen County Public Defenders Office is trying to have statements made to police by Brandon Allen Sr. ruled inadmissible as evidence when a jury trial begins next month.

Allen, 37, was charged in April with one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, in connection with stealing money from the Union Bank Co. branch at 1410 Bellefontaine Avenue in Lima. The indictment includes specifications for Allen’s use of a firearm and as a violent repeat offender.

Around 10 a.m. on March 8, police in Lima responded to the bank in reference to what was described as an armed robbery. Employees said a man wearing a surgical mask walked into the bank and handed a cashier a handwritten note which, according to court documents, read: ‘I have a gun, please place all $$ of the draw and lock the safe on the counter, NO Die packs or silent alarms or I will draw.

The cashier told detectives the suspect had his right hand in his coat pocket and feared for his life, believing he had a gun. She gave the man, later identified as Allen, about $3,050 in cash before he fled on foot.

The note was written on a check from Superior Credit Union with the name and address obscured, but police were able to trace the account to Allen. Using the driver’s license information, police attended Allen’s listed address on Bellefontaine Avenue. A search warrant was obtained for the property and a Superior Credit Union checkbook in Allen’s name was found inside a vehicle registered to Allen at that location.

Allen was spotted later that day in the 400 block of South Jameson Avenue and was arrested following a short foot chase. He had $900 cash on him at the time of the arrest.

Allen denied participating in the bank robbery.

No testimony was presented at Monday’s hearing, although Chamberlain and Allen County Assistant District Attorney Destiny Caldwell stipulated the authenticity of a video of two separate interviews of Allen by detectives from Lima Police, Jesse Harrod and Steve Stechschulte, which was entered into evidence.

Chamberlain, in his motion to strike, said Allen’s constitutional rights were violated when investigators failed to advise him of his right not to incriminate himself and his right to counsel before the start of the trial. accusatory questioning.

Caldwell told Judge Jeffrey Reed there were more than 17 minutes left in the March 8 interview before Allen would officially receive a Miranda warning. The prosecutor said Allen “talked and talked and talked” and made unsolicited statements before the warning was issued.

Caldwell said the video will show that there is “no doubt that the defendant was advised of his rights to Miranda and waived them” and that he knew he was in custody at the time.

Reed took the video under advisement.

Lima resident Brandon Allen, accused of robbing the Union Bank Co. branch on Bellefontaine Avenue in March of this year, appeared briefly in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Monday as part of a a motion to suppress evidence in his case. A jury trial for Allen is scheduled for September 13.