Jury finds Grimes guilty on all counts in 2011 bank robbery

DOVER — A 46-year-old man was convicted on all nine felony counts against him Wednesday in connection with his role in a 2011 Felton area bank robbery.

A Kent County Superior Court jury found Russell M. Grimes guilty of first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, five counts of second-degree reckless endangering, second-degree conspiracy and possession of a firearm/ammunition by person prohibited.

The prosecution accused Grimes of driving a getway vehicle from the First National Bank of Wyoming after co-conspirator William Sells committed armed robbery inside on Aug. 26, 2011.

After the fleeing black Ford SUV was spotted almost immediately after leaving the parking lot, the duo led State Police, Felton and Harrington patrol cars on a high-speed chase lasting roughly 20 minutes and covering approximately 16 miles through winding rural roads in rainy conditions, according to testimony.

As Grimes drove a black Ford SUV, the prosecution said, Sells stood up through a sunroof and fired a gun several times, striking three trailing police vehicles.

05dsn Russell M. Grimes by .

Russell M. Grimes

Eventually, according to testimony, the vehicle crashed into a ditch in the Camden and Wyoming area, and Grimes was apprehended after exiting the vehicle in an apparent attempt to flee. He was shot in the ankle by a Delaware State Police trooper and arrested.

Sells escaped, but was captured on Sept. 6, 2011 after a standoff at the Shamrock Motel on U.S. 13 in the Camden area.

The duo was convicted for the incident in 2013 as well, but the verdict was vacated and retrials scheduled due to sustained jury selection objections by Sells.

The nine-woman, three-man jury began deliberations at 9 a.m. Wednesday and returned to the courtroom with its decision at approximately 1:45 p.m. The panel was sequestered for nearly five hours Tuesday after closing arguments.

Grimes stared down at a table in front of him with his left hand on his forehead as the jury forewoman answered “guilty” nine times.

Twice, the defendant slightly shook his head “no” when asked by Judge Robert B. Young whether he wanted to poll the jury, and if he had anything else to add.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date scheduled for Jan. 26. With prior felony convictions, Grimes could possibly qualify as a habitual offender.

Deputy Attorneys General Susan Schmidhauser and Ben Snyder prosecuted the case with Grimes representing himself in defense.

Sells was convicted for the bank robbery on July 13 and sentenced to 30 years incarceration.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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