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Court: Bank Robber Didn't Have To Have Gun For Armed Robbery Conviction


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A bank robber does not have to carry a gun to be convicted of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon. That’s what the state appeals court in Milwaukee ruled Tuesday. The judges upheld the conviction of 36-year-old Roy Lee Rittman, who was found guilty in late 2006. His lawyers said he did not commit robbery by force, because he did not have a gun or even say he had a gun – and he did not point a finger from the pocket of his jacket to imply that he had a weapon.

Still, the court said the bank teller – who had been robbed previously – thought Rittman had a gun when he put a free hand in his pocket. He said nobody would get hurt if everyone in the bank cooperated. And he told the clerk to drop down. The appellate court said all those instructions were enough for a reasonable person to infer that the robber was armed.