Man pleads guilty to bank robbery | Sentencing set for Aug. 17

Published 12:06 am Friday, August 3, 2012

One of two suspects in the April 2011 armed robbery of the Capital One Bank on Columbia Street in Bogalusa pled guilty this week in 22nd Judicial District court, according to District Attorney Walter Reed.

Walter Roy Aswell III, 23, of Mandeville, pled guilty as charged to armed robbery, armed robbery additional penalty with a gun, three counts of attempted murder of a police officer, and aggravated obstruction of a highway.

District Judge A. J. Hand accepted the pleas and set sentencing for Aug. 17.

Aswell and Logan N. Mills, 24, of Covington, were arrested by the Bogalusa Police Department after a 12-mile chase and shoot-out that ended in Mississippi with both suspects headed to the hospital.

The two had allegedly stolen a Jeep from a gated community in the Mandeville area in the wee hours of the morning and six hours later pulled up to the Bogalusa bank wearing ski masks and gloves. They ordered the teller, at gunpoint, to give them money, then fled in the stolen vehicle, through town to Louisiana Highway 10 and into Mississippi.

The BPD received and returned gunfire as they chased Aswell’s vehicle.

“We met deadly force with deadly force,” Police Chief Joe Culpepper said at the time.

No officers were injured, but one police vehicle “was shot up pretty good” and a second also ended the morning riddled with bullet holes, he said.

This week Reed praised the BPD response to the dangerous incident.

“These Bogalusa policemen reacted to this robbery with great courage and professionalism,” he said. “My office is now working diligently to bring the remaining suspect to justice.”

Mills will go to trial on Aug. 13 for the same charges Aswell faced.

According to Reed’s office, armed robbery with a gun is punishable by imprisonment from 15 to 99 years; attempted murder of a policeman is punishable by imprisonment from 20 to 50 years; and aggravated obstruction of a highway is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorneys Leigh Anne Wall and Julie Knight were in charge of preparation and presentation of the state’s case against Aswell.