Sentencing delayed again for bank robber


By Glenn Battishill - [email protected]



Groce


Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

Leon


Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

A Columbus man who pleaded guilty to robbing the PNC bank in downtown Delaware was scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on June 23 but the sentencing has been delayed again and will now take place in August.

According to federal court documents, the sentencing hearing for Alonzo D. Groce, 19, of Columbus, was delayed from June 23 to Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m. A reason for the delay was not specified.

At the hearing, he will be sentenced on a charge of bank robbery and a charge of using a firearm during the robbery of a financial institution.

Groce’s co-defendant, Jonathan Leon II, 24, of New York, will be sentenced on identical charges at a hearing on Aug. 11 at at 1:30 p.m.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charges at hearings in January. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. accepted their pleas and ordered that both men undergo pre-sentence investigations before they are sentenced.

The men were originally set to be sentenced in April but the hearings were delayed multiple times, federal court records indicate. A reason is not specified for any of the delays.

Both men were in federal custody Monday awaiting their sentencing hearings.

At the arraignment for the men in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 11, 2015, first assistant county prosecutor Kyle Rohrer told Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger that Leon went into the PNC Bank at 40 N. Sandusky St. on Aug. 24, 2015, and investigated it before leaving a few minutes later. Rohrer said Groce then entered the bank about 20 minutes later — about 11:30 a.m. — with a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol, demanding money from a bank clerk. Rohrer said the clerk gave Groce money and then hit a silent alarm.

Groce left the bank and got into a waiting car driven by Leon and the men were pursued by police as they got onto Interstate 71 and headed south, toward Polaris. After a chase, the men ditched the car in a parking lot on South Old State Road and were soon taken into custody.

Groce
http://delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_ALONZO-GROCE.jpgGroce Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

Leon
http://delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_JONATHAN-LEON-1.jpgLeon Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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