NEWARK – Two men were convicted by a federal jury Tuesday, after less than an hour of deliberation, for robbing a Bank of America branch in Franklin Township on March 12, 2009, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The jury convicted defendants Anthony Peterson, 44, and Abdullah Muhammad, 54, both of Newark, on all counts of the Indictment against them: conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, committing armed bank robbery, and using and discharging a firearm in connection with a bank robbery. A third co-conspirator, James Holmes, 56, also of Newark, pleaded guilty to his role in the robbery on October 29, 2010, before United States District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who also presided over the trial.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
The defendants entered the bank a few minutes before closing time on March 12, 2009, wearing masks and brandishing guns. In a little more than three minutes, the defendants stole more than $93,000 in cash, traveler’s checks, money orders and gift cards. After speeding out of the bank in a stolen vehicle, they switched to a second stolen vehicle which was parked less than half a mile from the bank.
During a high-speed vehicle chase through the streets of North Brunswick, the defendants fired numerous rounds at a pursuing detective. Several other responding officers joined the chase, which culminated when the defendants crashed their vehicle into a security gate at nearby St. Peter’s University Hospital. The defendants attempted to flee the scene on foot, firing numerous rounds at law enforcement officers. The defendants were apprehended after three of them were shot and wounded. One co-conspirator, James Phillips, died on April 4, 2009, as a result of his injuries.
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