A man pleaded guilty Friday to robbing a south Georgia bank and firing an assault rifle into the ceiling during a 2011 crime spree with his brother and sister than began with a Florida police chase and ended in a shootout in Colorado.
Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 27, almost derailed the plea deal when he told a U.S. District Court judge he disagreed with one part of prosecutors' narrative of the crime — that all three siblings threatened bank employees in Valdosta during the robbery on Aug. 2, 2011.
"I never threatened anybody," Stanley of Zephyrhills, Fla., said after telling the judge that prosecutors' version of the crime was "99.9 percent" correct. "Everything else was exact and that does not negate the fact that I was in the bank with a firearm."
Judge Hugh Lawson made prosecutors and defense attorneys amend the paperwork before allowing Stanley to enter his plea.
Stanley's siblings — Ryan and Lee Grace Dougherty — pleaded guilty to similar Georgia charges last month. Terms of their deals with prosecutors were not disclosed in court. All three will be sentenced Dec. 17 in Valdosta. The bank robbery charges carry up to 25 years in prison, while the gun charge is punishable by 10 years to life to in prison.
Stanley delayed his hearing about 20 minutes after asking to speak to his lawyer alone, but he went through with the plea deal.
During court, he laughed out loud when the judge asked Stanley if he had discussed possible trial defenses with his attorneys, then added, "I'm not suggesting you necessarily have any."
"We went over that, your honor," Stanley replied, still chuckling.
The suspect also interrupted the judge at one point to ask: "Would you mind referring to me as Mr. Dougherty?" Then he added: "I'm sorry judge."