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Woman Convicted in Bizarre Bank Robbery-Collar Bomb Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Marjorie Diehl- Armstrong, the woman accused of playing a role in the bizarre 2003 Erie, Pa. bank robbery and collar bombing that grabbed the nation’s attention, was convicted Monday in federal court, authorities said.

The 61-year-old was convicted of criminal conspiracy, bank robbery and using a weapon during a crime of violence following a two-week trial.

Mark Potter, head of ATF in Philadelphia, said the verdict “brings closure to a bizarre scheme of greed that played out like a Hollywood movie. I commend the joint law enforcement efforts of those who participated in this investigation.”

The case captivated America due to its strangeness.

Diehl-Armstrong was charged with being part of the scheme to rob the PNC branch at Summit Towne Center on Aug. 28, 2003.

On that day, pizza delivery man Brian Wells, who authorities say was at least initially in on the plot, walked into the bank with a shot gun and an explosive collar around his chest and neck.

He got more than $8,000 and fled, but was stopped by state troopers, who called in the bomb squad.  Before the squad could arrive, the bomb went off and killed Wells.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said: “The verdict today is the product of literally thousands of hours of difficult and painstaking work by our law enforcement partners and this office.”

Authorities said she will get mandatory life.


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