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Cop accused of bank robbery free on bond

HOUSTON- Conroe Police Sgt. Michael E. Tindall, charged with robbing First Conroe Bank on Aug. 11, 2008, was arraigned in Houston on Wednesday before federal magistrate Frances Stacy and later released on $100,000 bond, with multiple stipulations.

Tindall’s parents, Norman and Margie Tindall, were cosigners on the bond. The family has 48 hours to deposit $5,000 in the registry. If Tindall fails to appear at upcoming proceedings, they will owe the balance of $95,000 plus other possible penalties.

Tindall told the court he lived at his Conroe apartment for two years with his fiancé, who sat watching with his parents. His attorneys approached the bench to discuss his living arrangements, and then Judge Stacy said if Tindall planned to move, it needed to be soon and the court should be informed.

His attorney, Robert Scardino, later said Tindall would be moving and may live with his parents. Scardino said he felt the move would be in his client’s best interest.

Scardino, who is a topnotch Houston-based federal criminal defense attorney, criticized the evidence against Tindall listed in the federal complaint.

“This is a weak case, because the evidence against him is circumstantial, at best,” Scardino said.

He repeatedly pointed out that the witnesses’ identification was made based on their impressions of a man’s voice and mannerisms in full motorcycle gear, speaking through a helmet.

“Frankly, this is awfully weak to be accusing a career police officer of this,” Scardino said.

He said Tindall was “obviously, extremely upset” and the immediate plan was to get him “some help,” starting with getting him released and trying to get some stability.

Scardino characterized Tindall’s family as “very supportive, rock solid, and behind him 100 percent.”

Tindall and his family left the federal courthouse around 4 p.m.

Among the conditions of Tindall’s release were:

-wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle at all times
-cannot leave the Southern District of Texas without permission
-can only leave home for reasons such as medical care, religious services, or employment
-home phone cannot have call waiting or call forwarding
-surrender his passport
-no contact with any potential witnesses including employees of First Bank of Conroe or the Conroe Police Department
-surrender all firearms to the government or a family member where he has no access
-must seek and then maintain employment
-employment may not be related to security or law enforcement
-submit to required drug testing, and random urinalysis
-any change of address must be approved by the court
-if required, inpatient or outpatient psychiatric or medical examination

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