Bank robbery trial begins in New London

Jury selection is underway in New London Superior Court in the case of Jerry David Thompson, who is accused of robbing the Citizens Bank in downtown New London on Feb. 26, 2013.

Thompson, 36, of Hartford has been held in lieu of $250,000 since he was arrested shortly after the robbery. He has turned down a plea offer from Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Michael E. Kennedy and will go on trial July 24 for second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and fourth-degree larceny.

Thompson wore an olive-colored business suit Wednesday morning and sat between attorneys Jennifer B. Nowak and Tyler C. Edwards from the public defender’s office. Although he had elected to be tried by a jury, he told Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed he wanted to be tried by a judge. He changed his mind after learning a so-called “court trial” would not begin any sooner than a jury trial. The attorneys, who will try the case before six jurors and two alternates, began interviewing prospective jurors.

According to a police report from the February 2013 incident, city police received several calls reporting that a man was dropping money on State Street that appeared to be stained with red dye. Minutes later, someone from the Citizens Bank branch at 63 Eugene O’Neill Drive reported to police that the bank had been robbed.

Witnesses described to police the man who had dropped the money and said he had run down State Street on foot. Officer Deana Nott spotted Thompson at Union Station, and he was taken into custody.

Police said they recovered surveillance photos from the bank and interviewed witnesses. The bank teller told them the robber handed her a small piece of paper that said, “This is a robbery. No tricks. Don’t call cops. Hand me money in hand.”

The teller gave the man $1,578 in cash and an additional $40 with a red dye pack in the middle.

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