OGDEN — A Harrisville man who was charged in connection with a bank robbery earlier this month said he is relieved the felony charge against him was dropped this week, but he’s also upset authorities put him through the whole ordeal.
“I feel like I have a case of PTSD right now,” Kerry Maw told KSL.com. “I’m petrified. I mean, I had guns pulled to my head. I am just, like, utterly devastated.”
Maw, 48, was charged in 2nd District Court with robbery, a second-degree felony, on June 6 in connection with a June 4 robbery at a Wells Fargo bank in Ogden. According to the charges, a man walked into the bank, slipped the teller a note, and fled with more than $5,000 in cash.
In a stunning turn, prosecutors filed a motion in 2nd District Court Wednesday to drop the charge after “new facts have come to light which necessitate additional investigation.” In a statement to KSL, Weber County Attorney Chris Allred said there was enough probable cause back on June 6 to file charges, but that changed when the Ogden Police Department "discovered new evidence linking another suspect to the bank robbery."
"That evidence is still being developed in the ongoing investigation, and I’m hopeful that I will have some particulars for you in the very near future," he added.
According to Maw, the break in his case came when the person who actually committed the June 4 crime returned to the same bank and robbed it again on Monday. He was informed about it later that day after police were able to confirm Maw wasn’t at that bank at all at the time and the charges were dropped.
It wasn't clear if another arrest had been made. Ogden police didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment. However, the agency released a statement about the Maw case Wednesday, noting that detectives “discovered new evidence linking another suspect to the bank robbery that occurred on June 4.”
“Detectives coordinated this new information with the Weber County Prosecutor’s office resulting in a motion to dismiss with prejudice in the Maw case,” the statement continued. “Detectives are still developing this information and the investigation is active and ongoing.”
Ogden police reported the charge was dismissed with prejudice, but court documents filed later showed the charge was dismissed without prejudice.
According to a jail report filed on June 5, Maw was arrested after Ogden police received a tip from Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson, who had seen a surveillance photo of the alleged robber that was released by Ogden police earlier that day. Maw said he and Jackson know each other because they attended the same church congregation.
The report continued on to say the officer found a photo of Maw on Facebook that was similar to the surveillance photo, and also through Maw’s ex-wife. A spokesman for Harrisville police told KSL Jackson first saw the image when Maw's ex-wife sent it to him.
Maw said neither Jackson or his ex-wife questioned whether he was at the bank or committed the robbery before talking with Ogden police. He recalled getting ready to go to sleep on June 4 when the police knocked on his door and arrested him at gunpoint. He ended up spending the night in jail before bailing out.
It’s just destroyed my reputation and it’s destroyed by businesses right now. ... It’s affected everything about my whole life.
That was frightening, but the past few weeks have been worse, he said. He said he’s struggled to get back to work as a home inspector and his family and others — aside from some friends — ostracized him following his arrest.
“I haven’t talked to my children. It’s affected my business … I have people canceling inspections. It’s just destroyed my reputation and it’s destroyed by businesses right now,” Maw said. “I can’t even get into houses with my realtor key box because they put my key box on hold. It’s affected everything about my whole life.”
He added the Ogden officer who had arrested him apologized this week for the mixup but hadn’t heard back from Jackson or Harrisville police. The spokesman for Harrisville police said Jackson is retiring as police chief on Friday.
Maw said he has spent $5,000 in legal fees just in the time since he was arrested and has “no doubt” he will take up some sort of action against Harrisville and Ogden cities after the whole ordeal.
In a statement emailed out to media on Thursday, Maw said the police departments and “certain individuals” should be “held accountable for negligence and attempting to ruin my life and my business.”
Contributing: Eric Morgan, KSL
Editor's note: An early version of the article indicated that Ogden police reported the charge was dismissed with prejudice, but failed to indicate that court documents filed later showed the charge was dismissed without prejudice. This article has been updated to reflect that correction.