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Trial for suspected bank robber might go 'no less than' three days

Cary Ashby • Apr 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The trial for a man accused of robbing a Monroeville bank and a Norwalk convenience store could last at least three days.

Former Monroeville resident Robert L. Jackson Jr., 52, is scheduled for a May 7 trial in Huron County Common Pleas Court. He is charged with three counts of robbery and two charges each of burglary and theft.

"I've made an offer," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told Judge Jim Conway without elaborating Monday. "The offer I've made could be open to April 25."

Jackson's final pre-trial hearing is set for April 30.

"If we're here on the 30th, we're going to trial," said Leffler, who expects some federal authorities to testify.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo, who expects Jackson's trial to last "no less than" three days, said he should be able to give Leffler "a thumbs up or thumbs down" about the undisclosed plea offer by April 25.

On Feb. 19, the Norwalk Police Department used a warrant to recover more than $12,000 from inside a jacket the vehicle reportedly driven by Jackson. Detectives have said they determined the money "was all (stolen) from East Side Fuel" on Feb. 18 and suspect Jackson was wearing the same jacket at the Firelands Federal Credit Union branch in Monroeville.

Four clerks and a manager were working, but no customers were present when the robbery was reported about 11 a.m. Feb. 16.

The $12,000 in recovered cash was in PNC Bank deposit bags wrapped in one plastic East Side bag in a jacket in the truck, Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said earlier.

"There were three deposits in the bags. ... I think some of the money was missing," Fulton said about another $5,000.

None of the Firelands clerks reported seeing a gun or hearing Jackson threaten to brandish one. But a prosecutor has said the suspect "displayed the handle of the weapon" at East Side.

Authorities arrested Jackson without incident about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 18 near the intersection of U.S. 20 and Ohio 58 in Oberlin after Norwalk police dispatchers kept track of the suspect's cell phone use.

Chief Dave Light has said a Cleveland police officer assisted in searching for Jackson by "going to every location they could get a (cell phone) ping." Police have said they suspect Jackson went to Cleveland to buy crack cocaine and marijuana.

"Crack cocaine and marijuana were recovered on him at the time of his arrest," Fulton said soon afterward.

Jackson's indictment, which was filed Feb. 25, alleges he drove a green 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck to commit the offenses and is a previously convicted violent offender.

Out of prison since Feb. 2, 2012, Jackson served 15 1/2 years at the Lorain Correctional Institution for robbery and aggravated robbery. The convictions were for an incident at TJ's Bar on Jefferson Street.

"He placed some people in the freezer," Leffler said earlier.

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