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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:00 am

Bank heist try brings 15 years

Man tried to block worker's escape

Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne man was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting an attempted bank robbery.

Markell Palmer-Tate, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty to 188 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, on April 11, 2016, Palmer-Tate and his two co-defendants attempted to rob a First Source Bank in Fort Wayne. In the weeks leading up to this attempted robbery, Palmer-Tate and the co-defendants had text message conversations about what bank to rob and on what date. Palmer-Tate had requested time off from work for the day of the robbery, a news release said Friday.

Bank security video captured Palmer-Tate casing the bank days before the robbery. On the day of the planned robbery, a bank employee was abducted and pistol whipped by one of Palmer-Tate's co-defendants, documents said. Another bank employee, who was in a separate vehicle, managed to drive off and avoid being abducted; Palmer-Tate drove evasively in an attempt to block that victim's escape.

“That victim had to drive up an embankment to get away from Palmer-Tate's attempts to trap her in the parking lot,” the news release said. The abducted bank employee was eventually released.