One of the men charged in the Dec. 2 bank robbery has been granted a change of venue.
On Monday, Mark Smith’s public defender, Joshua Hedgecorth, asked for a change of venue outside of the 24th Judicial Circuit, which includes Washington, St. Francois, Madison and Ste. Genevieve counties.
Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte denied that request but ordered the case to be heard in Ste. Genevieve County on a change of venue from Washington County.
Smith, 41, of St. Louis, is charged with second-degree robbery and accessory stealing of more than $500. A trial date has not yet been set. A trial setting will be held April 19.
Police believe Smith was the accomplice in the robbery of the Unico Bank in Potosi Dec. 2. Justin E. Parker, 30, of Lake St. Louis, is charged with second-degree robbery and stealing over $500. Both are charged as prior and persistent offenders.
Parker’s case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 3:30 p.m. March 24 before Associate Circuit Court Judge Troy Hyde. Smith waived his preliminary hearing in January.
According to the probable cause statement, 10 minutes before the robbery at Unico Bank in Potosi, Smith walked into the bank and asked for change for a $10 bill. Surveillance footage shows him walk around the back side of the bank and past a fence toward an apartment complex.
Parker then entered the bank and gave a note to a teller, demanding money. He was given money and fled on foot. Surveillance shows him scale a fence behind the bank and run toward an apartment complex.
A witness saw a black Dodge truck leave the apartment complex at a high rate of speed turning south on Route U. The witness said a bottle of gin was thrown from the vehicle.
Surveillance at a nearby gas station earlier that day shows the two exiting a black Dodge truck and entering the store together before the robbery. There they purchased a bottle of gin.
A citizen identified the primary robbery suspect as Parker and he turned himself in to police a few days after the robbery.
Days after the robbery, Smith was found in St. Louis in the same truck used in the robbery. He was found in possession of about $1,000 in cash. Two of the $20 bills were marked bills that were stolen in the robbery.
The investigation was handled by the Potosi Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol with assistance by the St. Louis Police Department.