Two southeast Iowa men are behind bars after an investigation showed they helped an Ottumwa man commit a 2018 bank robbery.
Ross Thornton and Jordan Crawford were taken into custody this week, after a combined investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Department, the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and the Mount Pleasant Police Department. Both men are accused of helping Ethan Spray rob the Pilot Grove Savings Bank in Packwood on June 1st of last year. Thornton is also accused of helping Spray rob the South Ottumwa Savings Bank in Hedrick on August 3rd of last year.
This isn’t the first time that Thornton and Crawford have been in trouble with the law, or in trouble with the bank in Packwood. Court records show both men pleaded guilty to robbing that Pilot Grove branch back in 2007, and both served prison sentences as a result.
Thornton and Crawford both face a charge of first-degree robbery in Jefferson County. The 35-year-old Thornton also faces a first-degree robbery charge in Keokuk County for the Hedrick robbery. Court record do not indicate that the 30-year-old Crawford is charged in that incident.
The 28-year-old Spray faces first-degree robbery charges in both counties, and is scheduled to face two separate trials. Both trials were originally scheduled to begin early this year, but have been pushed back several months. Spray’s Jefferson County trial is currently set to begin on July 16th, with the Keokuk County trial scheduled for September 10th.
In Iowa, first-degree robbery is considered a Class B felony, and each charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
As a reminder, a criminal charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.