UPDATE 'Professional bank robbers' held for sentencing in Gulfport

Alabama men will be sentenced in October

rfitzgerald@sunherald.comJuly 15, 2014 

GULFPORT -- Two Alabama men found guilty of conspiring to rob eight banks at gunpoint each face maximum penalties that could put them behind bars for more than 150 years.

Six of the banks were in South Mississippi.

A jury on Monday convicted Randy Laverne Marshall, 38, of Mobile, on 24 criminal counts. The jury convicted Keith Anthony Kiel, 34, of Pritchard, on 11 counts. The charges each carry maximum penalties of five to 25 years.

U.S. Chief District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. will sentence them Oct. 14.

Witnesses in the two-week trial included bank employees and an FBI agent. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris presented evidence of frightening holdups in which masked men vaulted teller windows, pulled workers from their offices or pressed a gun to their heads or backs.

The men also were found guilty of using stolen vehicles to flee after the bank heists from May to June 2008 and from December 2012 to May 2013. Harris said the four-year gap was when Marshall was in prison.

Harris described the men as "professional bank robbers" who were "so efficient, they swept the Gulf Coast."

Marshall was found guilty of robbing a Merchants & Marine Bank in Moss Point on Dec. 13, 2012; a Hancock Bank in Gulfport on March 20, 2013, and one in Moss Point on May 17, 2013.

Marshall and Kiel were found guilty of robbing First Federal Savings and Loan Association in Gautier on May 13, 2008, and a Regions Bank in Biloxi on June 19, 2008, The jury heard testimony the men set fire to a vehicle used in the Biloxi robbery after finding it impounded in Mobile County.

The jury convicted Kiel of robbing a Regions Bank in Ocean Springs on March 3, 2008, and of intimidating a witness.

Harris said their method of operation largely remained the same. Except for a Spider-Man mask, the bandits covered their faces with long sleeves cut from thermal shirts. They chose banks a short distance from Mobile County and used stolen pickup trucks, mostly white, to make their getaways before switching vehicles.

The jury heard testimony that Marshall and Kiel robbed a BancorpSouth in Greenville, Ala., on May 2, 2013, and a Wells Fargo in Pensacola on Jan. 28, 2013.

Two co-defendants have accepted plea agreements.

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