Judge Allows Bank Robbery Suspect to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Judge Allows Bank Robbery Suspect to Withdraw Guilty Plea

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has granted an alleged bank robber permission to withdraw a guilty plea and fight the charges filed against him.

U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson made the ruling yesterday during a discussion to determine whether 26-year-old Joshua Rich voluntarily entered a guilty plea after cutting a deal with federal prosecutors related to the weapon used in a series of robberies.

Rich says he got the gun from an accomplice, but didn't know if it was an actual firearm or an air-soft pistol, which is considered dangerous but is not a firearm.

The accomplice told police conflicting stories about the weapon, which has not been recovered.

In his ruling, Benson said it wasn't clear what Rich knew about the gun.

Rich, his accomplice and that man's wife, were all charged with robbing a Lindon-area bank three times.

The couple reached plea agreements with prosecutors and have already been sentenced to prison.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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