Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said the couple arrested in Castleton accused of striking five area banks on both sides of the state border over an eight week period will remain in Vermont custody for some time but their fate afterwards in somewhat murky.
Kortright said he had not yet spoken with Federal authorities and what happens going forward depends somewhat on Vermont authorities.
Kortright said the two states could give the case over to the FBI who would then present the case to the U. S. Attorney for prosecution.
If the matter remains at the state level, authorities in the Green Mountain State will prosecute first because that was where they were arrested.
“They’ll belong to Vermont first. They get them first before we do,” Kortright said.
The suspects in the bank robberies Jill Ludwig, 30, and John Maynard, 30, both of Castleton, Vt. were taken into custody outside of Paul’s Family Pizza in Hydeville Nov. 2 and arraigned Nov. 3, sent to jail for lack of $200,000 bail each.
The robbery of the Poultney branch of Citizen’s Bank just after 3 p.m. Nov. 2 generated a massive police manhunt on both sides of the border as for the first time police had a rock solid lead on the suspect’s vehicle.
Jeff Roberts, a Poultney barber, provided police with the license plate number allowing a focused effort including searching for the suspect’s residence. The couple shared an apartment near the Castleton Four Corners within a few hundred yards of the Vermont State Police barracks they were brought to after being taken into custody.
After the pair are sentenced in Vermont, New York will get a crack at them, unless the Federal authorities decide to step in, Kortright said.
As far as New York is concerned, the pair faces one count each of third-degree robbery, a Class D felony, although the charges could double if the case it made they acted together each time. “We’re going to try to show that they’re doing it together,” Kortright said.
The District Attorney said he hoped to be able to put together a case that shows both Maynard and Ludwig was involved in each Granville robbery meaning two counts each of the robbery third-degree charge.
For that reason, Kortright said Federal prosecution might be the path to a more stringent therefore more appropriate punishment.
In the case of the threat of a weapon, Kortright said the threat does not carry any penalty, unless a gun or fake gun is found when search warrants are executed on the couple’s apartment and car.
Police executed a search warrant of the couple’s 197 Vermont Route 30 apartment and the black 2000 Ford Taurus the same night they were arrested but no gun was found, officials said. Regardless of whether the gun is real, Kortright said the charge would be the same, as long as the item found is something resembling a firearm, even a toy gun results in a charge while the note carries no penalty.