HOUSTON—A 24-year-old Houston man will be spending the next nine years in federal prison as a result of his convictions related to the April 2013 robbery of Regions Bank in Humble, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Justin Devon Hayes entered guilty pleas to aggravated bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence on December 2, 2013, along with Demontray Ward, 22, also of Houston.
Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore handed Hayes a sentence of 24 months for the aggravated bank robbery, which will be served consecutively to another 84 months for brandishing a firearm. The sentence was enhanced due to the fact there was bodily injury during the course of the robbery. Specifically, evidence presented today indicated that two bank employees had been struck in the back of the head. Hayes will also serve five years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.
Ward was sentenced in March 2014 to a total of 189 months in prison.
On April 26, 2013, Hayes, Ward, and a third, now deceased man robbed the Regions Bank at 7044 East FM 1960 in Humble. Ward was armed with a shotgun, while the other two had pistols. All the weapons were loaded. The defendants demanded money, threatened the tellers, and became agitated when they realized the vault was on a 10-minute timer.
A Houston police officer entered the bank but was disarmed by Ward. Outside, another officer witnessed the three men leave the bank and enter an SUV. He attempted to confront them, but the vehicle drove towards him. Seeing a muzzle of a shotgun pointed at him, the officer fired, and the driver was shot and killed. Ward and Hayes were then taken into custody.
Ward will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force, which is composed of personnel from the FBI, Houston Police Department, and Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting the case.