A former bondsman who shot a branch manager twice during a Chattanooga bank holdup last October was sentenced on Thursday to serve the maximum 15 years and three months in federal prison.
David Cross was sentenced by Federal Judge Curtis Collier after the judge heard from the victim, Marcus Holt. Mr. Holt, who still carries one of the bullets in his chest, said his doctor regularly tells him he would have been killed had the bullet been a fraction of an inch in the other direction.
Two women involved in the robbery of the First Tennessee Bank in East Brainerd were also sentenced. Daphne Rodriguez, who provided a stolen car for use in the robbery, received 10 years. Annamarie Holt, girlfriend of Cross, was given six years as Judge Collier cited her mental issues and role in the robbery. Her attorney, Leslie Cory, said she is bi-polar.
The branch manager said he was at his desk "on a normal day" when he heard the door slam and two shots being fired into the air. He said as he turned in his desk to see what was happening, he was shot in the arm and in the chest. He fell to the floor with blood coming from his wounds.
Mr. Holt said he thought he might be dying as he lay on the floor thinking of his young daughter.
He said he had difficulty going back on the job and remains fearful. He is now branch manager at another location.
Mr. Holt said two female tellers, including one who had a gun put to her head by Cross, have also had difficulty dealing with the traumatic incident.
Cross said he had on a mask and had trouble seeing through it. He said he did not know until he heard news reports that he had shot anyone, saying, "I just fired in a direction."
He said, "It was never my intent to harm anyone. I truly regret this."
Judge Collier said loaded guns are not used in most bank robberies. He said Cross could have gotten the money without using a loaded gun.
Prosecutor Michael Porter said the robbery netted over $20,000. He said Ms. Rodriguez was given $2,000. Cross and Ms. Holt, who were on the verge of getting kicked out of the Hamilton Inn, two days later spent over $3,000 in setting up a new home.
A break in the case came during an investigation of the stolen car. Ms. Rodriguez got a reduced sentence for confessing and telling who else was involved.
Prosecutor Porter said Cross had been at the bank numerous times. He said the branch manager the previous night saw the car that was used in the holdup and said three people were in it.
Authorities said Cross at the time was on dialysis twice a week and was on a kidney transplant list.
The car used in the robbery was abandoned at Hamilton Place Mall.