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 Jonathan Leon II, 24, of New York, was scheduled to take place on Jan. 20, but it was delayed and rescheduled to April 20 at 1:30 p.m.

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

Leon’s co-defendant, Alonzo D. Groce, 19, of Columbus, was also scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 27 but it was also delayed. However, it has not been rescheduled.

The reason for both delays was not specified in court documents.

Leon and Groce have pleaded guilty to a charge of bank robbery in U.S. District Court for robbing the PNC Bank on Aug. 24, 2015. Leon also pleaded guilty to using a firearm during the robbery of a financial institution.

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 the day of the robbery.

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 left the car in a parking lot on South Old State Road and soon after were taken into custody.

Alonzo Groce Groce Courtesy photo | Delaware County Jail

Jonathan Leon 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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