Troxell pleads guilty in bank robbery

Troxell pleads guilty in bank robbery

By Heather Michon


A Chesterfield County man charged in the October 2017 robbery of the Union Bank & Trust entered a plea of guilty in Fluvanna County Circuit Court on Friday (April 20).

Under the plea agreement, Jeffery W. Troxell, Jr., 27, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended. Judge Richard E. Moore also ordered Troxell to three years supervised probation and to pay restitution to the bank following his release.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip gave the court a brief summary of the evidence in the case.

At around 4 p.m. on Oct. 10, a witness saw Troxell park in the lot near the Union Bank & Trust and walk into the bank lobby.

Once inside, Troxell walked up to the teller and said, “This is how it’s going to go,” before handing her a note demanding money. She gave him $1,350 from her drawer, and he exited the building.

He was taped walking toward his car by the dashcam of a Fluvanna County Sheriff’s vehicle parked a short distance away in the same Food Lion parking lot. The deputy, unaware of the robbery, was working on his laptop at the time.

The sheriff’s office released bank surveillance photos later that evening. Troxell wore no mask nor disguise during the robbery and had a distinctive tattoo on his neck. “Very quickly, numerous people identified the suspect,” Haislip said.

Troxell dumped his car in a wooded area behind a Wawa gas station outside Short Pump and called his mother for a ride home to Chesterfield, where he was taken into custody the following day. He confessed to the crime under questioning.

Troxell faced a maximum sentence of life, but Haislip said the mid-range of the sentencing guidelines fit the circumstances, particularly since he hadn’t used a weapon and had confessed to his actions.

“I’m not going to downplay at all the impact on the teller,” Haislip said, describing her as traumatized by the robbery.

“People often don’t think about the fear,” Moore told the defendant. Even if no weapon was used and nobody was hurt, those moments had a deep and lingering impact on the victims. “Some people, sadly, don’t ever get over it. That’s what you’re being punished for.”

Troxell is also facing a potential 17-year sentence in Chesterfield County for probation violations on earlier convictions.

Dismissal of Hardy sex charges denied

Moore also heard a defense motion to dismiss some of the charges in the case of Alfonso Lewis Hardy.

Hardy was indicted late last year on 31 counts, including rape, sex trafficking, and the production of child pornography.

Defense attorney Michael Hallahan argued that the wording of the statutes on the production of pornography was vague, allowing multiple charges from a single event.

In this case, Hardy is alleged to have engaged in consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl, and during the encounter took three short videos and seven still photos.

Each photo and video resulted in a separate charge, each with a mandatory minimum sentence. Hallahan argued that this was over-charging, as all occurred during the same event.

“Did the legislature really intend for each frame to be a separate charge?” he asked.

“I can imagine them intending that,” Moore said.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Todd Shockley argued that that is what the law intended. “Each click of that shutter is the production of pornography,” Shockley said.

Moore said the similarity of language in statutes involving the possession and the production of pornography indicated to him that the Commonwealth was following the law.

“If possession can be charged image-by-image, it stands that production can be charged image-by-image,” he said, denying the motion to dismiss the charges.

Hardy is set for arraignment June 8.

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