By Rachel Dove
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A guilty plea was entered in Pike County Circuit Court last week by one of three defendants jailed in connection with the armed robbery of a Goody, Ky., bank nearly two years ago.
Willard Wooten, 41, pleaded guilty to his part in robbing the U.S. Bank on Aug. 21, 2012. Two other individuals, Gary McCoy, 38, and Russell West, 44, have also been charged with one count each of first-degree robbery, and their cases were scheduled to go to trial Monday, but have been postponed until August, according to the Pike County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
This case had remained unsolved for several months before the three arrests were made. Investigators and troopers with Pikeville Post 9 of the Kentucky State Police, along with FBI agents, had been working the case and finally got a break. Soon thereafter, the defendants were taken into custody and were also indicted by the grand jury.
During the robbery, investigators say that two of the men involved entered the bank with their faces covered, produced guns and demanded money. After receiving an undetermined amount of cash, the report stated, they fled the bank on a green ATV. With all the trails and paths in that area that are accessible by ATV’s, especially to anyone familiar with the area, the robbers made a quick getaway.
Between the time of this robbery and the end of 2013, Pike County law enforcement officers were kept busy investigating a rash of robberies that included other banks and businesses, as well as multiple home break-ins and burglaries.
A definite sentencing date for Wooten has not yet been set, but a spokesman for Commonwealth Attorney Keith Bartley’s office said it would take place in June.