PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Pike County Grand Jury indicted three individuals, each on one count of first degree robbery, in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at the U.S. Bank in August at Goody, Ky. in August of 2012.
Willard Wooten, 40, of Octavia Hollow in McAndrews; Russell West, 43, of Six Camp Road, McVeigh; and Gary B. McCoy, 36, of Mullen Fork, Stone, who were already lodged in the county jail on other criminal charges, were served with warrants for the Aug. 21 robbery that has remained unsolved for several months, following their indictments.
In an article published in the WDN immediately following the robbery, an eye witness had stated that he was selling flea market items on a lot near the bank when he observed an ATV exit the berm of U.S. 119 that drove through the grass between the road and the parking lot of the U.S. Bank, carrying 2 individuals that were covered from head to toe, wearing coveralls and helmets. The men jumped off of the all-terrain vehicle and went into the bank, exiting a few moments later. They revved up the ATV and fled in the northbound direction, toward Williamson.
The amount of money taken from the bank at gunpoint was not released at that time, but the search for the suspects spanned both sides of the Tug Valley area and involved state police and sheriff’s departments from both Ky. and WV, as well as agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). It seemed for quite a while that the trail leading to the armed bank robbers’ identity and whereabouts had grown cold, but investigators were diligently searching for clues and following up on every lead they received, and their hard work finally paid off.
The indictment, signed by Pike County Commonwealth Attorney Rick Bartley, states that on or about the 21st day of August, 2012, the above named defendants when, in the course of committing a theft from the U.S. Bank, used or threatened use of force with the intent of accomplishing the theft and either caused physical injury to Pam Hunt and Francis Gay Edmonds (employees of the bank), not a participant in this crime, or – while armed with a deadly weapon – threatened the immediate use of said weapon against them.
According to a December indictment rendered by the Grand Jury, Wooten is facing charges in Pike County Circuit Court in connection to an armed robbery that took place at the Belfry Speedway station on Nov. 17, 2012. Those charges include one count of first degree robbery and one count of being a persistent felony offender, 2nd degree. He was also charged in a separate indictment with one count of possession of a gun by a convicted felon. During the Speedway robbery, he is accused of entering the store and brandishing a semi-automatic pistol, demanding money and cigarettes from the cashier. He managed to get away with $234 in cash and 5 cartons of cigarettes, fleeing the scene on a motorcycle he has stashed behind a nearby church. This incident occurred just 4-5 weeks after Wooten had a felony conviction probated in Pike County courts.
West had been incarcerated a few months ago, after he was federally indicted on drug related charges that named him as a participant of a “pill pipeline.” He was charged with distributing oxycodone, along with several other individuals.
No information was readily available on the charges that McCoy was originally incarcerated on, or what role he played in the robbery. Further details will be released as they become available. The lead investigator in this case is Kentucky State Police Pikeville Post 9 Detective, Kevin Newsome.