Sentencing for PNC bank robber postponed


A sentencing hearing in federal court for a New York man convicted of robbing Delaware’s downtown PNC Bank in August 2015 has been postponed to June.

According to federal court documents last week, Jonathan E. Leon II, of New York, was originally scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty to a charge of bank robbery and a charge of using a firearm during the robbery of a financial institution on Thursday but the hearing was delayed until June 2. Court documents do not specify a reason for the delay.

Leon’s co-defendant, Alonzo D. Groce, 19, of Columbus, will be sentenced on identical charges at a hearing on June 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charges at hearings in January. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. accepted their pleas and ordered that both men undergo pre-sentence investigations before they are sentenced.

Both men were in federal custody Thursday awaiting their sentencing hearings.

At the arraignment for the men in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 11, 2015, first assistant county prosecutor Kyle Rohrer told Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger that Leon went into the PNC Bank at 40 N. Sandusky St. on Aug. 24, 2015, and investigated it before leaving a few minutes later. Rohrer said Groce then entered the bank about 20 minutes later — about 11:30 a.m. — with a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol, demanding money from a bank clerk. Rohrer said the clerk gave Groce money and then hit a silent alarm.

Groce left the bank and got into a waiting car driven by Leon and the men were pursued by police as they got onto Interstate 71 and headed south, toward Polaris. After a chase, the men ditched the car in a parking lot on South Old State Road.

Rohrer said the men fled on foot but Leon was located a few minutes later and taken into custody by authorities.

Groce was found by police a couple of hours later in a drainage ditch in possession of the stolen money, including marked bills given to him by the bank teller, and the handgun used in the robbery. Groce reportedly confessed the crime to police when questioned.

Authorities said no one was harmed during the incident.

Leon Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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