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Posted at 07:59 AM ET, 07/23/2012

Guilty plea expected in Virginia bank robbery

HARRISONBURG, Va. — A suspected serial bank robber is scheduled to plead guilty to the armed robbery of a Winchester bank.

James Louis Whittlesey of Hydes, Md., pleaded not guilty in May to the 2011 robbery of United Bank. A change of plea hearing is set for Monday morning in federal court in Harrisonburg. Authorities have scheduled an afternoon news conference at the Winchester Police Department to discuss the case.

An FBI agent says in an affidavit that the 53-year-old Whittlesey robbed three bank tellers at gunpoint, then exchanged gunfire with Winchester police officers after leaving the bank. He crashed the getaway car and escaped on foot. Authorities traced the car to Whittlesey’s girlfriend, who said Whittlesey was using the vehicle the day of the robbery.

Whittlesey is a suspect in other robberies.

By the Associated Press  |  07:59 AM ET, 07/23/2012

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