Man guilty of killing teller during bank robbery

July 29, 2011 5:00:33 PM PDT
One of three gunmen charged in a South Side bank robbery that claimed the life of a teller four years ago was found guilty on all counts Friday.

David Vance was convicted of murdering bank teller Tramaine Gibson, who was shot and killed during the heist at Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan on South King Drive. The actions of the bank robbers were captured on surveillance video.

Gibson's parents and his widow were in court on Friday and reacted to the guilty verdict.

"For over four years, my son's blood has been crying out from the grave for justice and today justice was served," said the victim's mother Gail Gibson.

Friday's guilty verdict will likely send Vance to federal prison for the rest of his natural life -- a mandatory sentence that is imposed when a person is killed during the course of a bank robbery.

"It was a lot of evidence to pull together. We had so much, and I think that's one of the reasons why the jury came back so quickly and so decisively. It was a very, very strong case and we worked hard to put it together and put it together in a way the jury could easily digest it," said U.S. Attorney Sharon Fairley.

During the course of the trial, the government presented DNA evidence as well as surveillance video of the robbery which shows Vance and his two accomplices robbing the bank in Chatham on May 22, 2007. Vance's co-defendant, Alton Marshall, testified for the prosecution, identifying Vance as an accomplice, and as the man who shot Tremaine Gibson in the lower back, after he was unable to open the vault door.

"Eventually they were going to get caught and they were going to face justice, but Tremaine was a kid, in college, he was married, two young children. He was 23 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him," said the victim's father Verton Gibson.

While bank robberies are common, they are rarely deadly. In 2007, Tremaine Gibson was only one of four employees or guards to be killed in thousands of robberies across the country.

"I think this case is a great example of the horror that can happen when somebody walks into a bank with a gun. Obviously, it's an important case for us to prove and go after," Fairley said.

"We don't take any pleasure in no one going to jail or anything like that. He robbed us of a very important, special young man," Verton Gibson said.

Two other people -- a security guard and a bank customer -- were shot and injured during the bank robbery by Vance's accomplices. Both of the accomplices plead guilty and agreed to testify in exchange for sharply reduced prison terms.

Vance himself always denied being involved in the holdup. He will be sentenced at a later date.

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