Sentencing delayed again for PNC bank robbers


The sentencing hearing for a man who pleaded guilty to robbing the PNC bank in downtown Delaware has been rescheduled again in U.S. District Court.

According to federal court documents, the sentencing hearing for Alonzo D. Groce, 19, of Columbus, was scheduled to take place on Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m., but it was vacated and later rescheduled to Jan. 27 at 9 a.m.

Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. will preside over the sentencing.

Groce, along with Jonathan Leon II, 24, of New York, have pleaded guilty to a charge of bank robbery in U.S. District Court for robbing the PNC Bank in Downtown Delaware on Aug. 24, 2015.

Leon also pleaded guilty to using a firearm during the robbery of a financial institution. Leon was scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20 but the hearing was delayed and has not yet been rescheduled.

Both men pleaded guilty to the charges at hearings in January 2016. Sargus accepted their pleas and ordered that both men undergo investigations before they are sentenced.

The men were originally set to be sentenced in April 2016, but the hearings were delayed multiple times, federal court records indicate. A reason is not specified for any of the delays.

Both were in federal custody Tuesday awaiting their sentencing hearings. They have been in custody since Aug. 24, 2015.

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 and soon after were taken into custody.



By Glenn Battishill

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

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