Hearing scheduled in bank robbery

Published 11:42 pm Monday, October 8, 2007

JACKSON (AP) — A plea hearing has been scheduled for a Louisiana lawyer charged with bank robbery in Mississippi, a federal court official says.

Scott Meece, 31, of Hammond, La., is expected to enter a plea Oct. 31 in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

‘‘That’s the day we set to go forward with it,’’ said Twana Summers, courtroom deputy for U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate’s courtroom.

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Meece was arrested in April by the FBI and charged with robbing a Trustmark National Bank in Wesson.

Meece’s court-appointed attorney, Ricky Smith of Vicksburg, has publicly stated he was in negotiations with the U.S. attorney’s office but wouldn’t divulge details.

The U.S. attorney’s office won’t comment on the case.

Meece’s federal trial initially had been scheduled for July but was continued at the request of Smith, who said in court papers he needed more time to check into Meece’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin O’Leary didn’t object to the delay.

Meece, a private practice lawyer, was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 2005.

In the March 27 heist in Wesson, police believe Meece entered the bank dressed in a suit and tie under the pretense of opening an account.

Meece was advised to wait until a customer service representative could assist him. When all the customers had left, an accounts manager took him to the vault so he could see the safe deposit boxes.

At that point, Meece pulled back his jacket, showed a handgun in his waistband and ordered the employee to open the safe, according to the FBI. He put more than $1,000 in a white plastic bag before fleeing in a vehicle without a license plate, witnesses told police.

He was arrested later in Louisiana.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com