Laurel woman pleads guilty to vehicle theft, bank robbery

LONDON — An East Bernstadt woman who stole two vehicles before robbing two Laurel County banks at gunpoint in July 2018 entered a guilty plea Monday to several charges in exchange for an agreement with prosecutors.

Jennifer Moore, 50, appeared in U.S. District Court in London for re-arraignment Monday, where she pleaded guilty to motor vehicle theft – carjacking, two counts of bank robbery by force or violence and carry/use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The plea was entered following Moore’s acceptance of an offer from prosecutors, allowing for lesser charges.

As part of the agreement, Moore’s remaining counts of motor vehicle theft – carjacking and carry/use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence will be dismissed at her sentencing.

Per federal law, motor vehicle theft – carjacking is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, bank robbery by force or violence is punishable by up to 20 years and carry/use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence is punishable by anywhere between seven years to life. Moore’s time in prison will be determined by the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

A formal sentencing has been set for Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

At least four trial dates had been continued during the lifespan of the case, with the most recent coming in April after Moore’s attorney, Willis G. Coffey, asked that her May 14 trial date be set aside for at least 45 days to allow for further plea negotiations with prosecutors. In Coffey’s request to continue that date, he stated that prosecutors had provided Moore with a written offer in exchange for her guilty plea, but that she had asked for some changes to be made to the offer and that prosecutors were considering them.

Moore was arrested July 19, 2018, after officers with the London Police Department were dispatched to investigate a call concerning an armed robbery at Forcht Bank off KY-192, but within minutes of their departure another call was received about an armed robbery at Cumberland Valley National Bank inside the London Shopping Center.

According to police, witnesses called in to the Laurel Dispatch Center to inform them of what kind of vehicle had been seen leaving the scene and the direction it was headed. Police found the vehicle that had been described at Calvary Baptist Church, where the driver, identified as Moore, fled on foot.

She was quickly caught and taken into custody. Police allegedly found her to be in possession of a 9 mm pistol, which was believed to be used during the robberies. It was also later determined that the vehicle Moore used during the robberies had been reportedly stolen earlier that day. In addition, police learned that Moore had also stolen another vehicle at gunpoint earlier in the month.

Moore was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in August 2018, formally charging her in connection to the incidents.

Moore was jailed in the Laurel County Detention Center until January, when she was transported to a facility in Houston, Texas. Local jail records do not indicate whether or not she has returned.

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