US bank raid pair to plead guilty
SYDNEY (AAP). ? Two Byron Bay teenagers facing trial in the US over an armed bank robbery will plead guilty and ask to serve their jail sentence in a prison back home.
Lawyers for Luke Carroll and Anthony Prince say they are hoping a guilty plea will reduce the maximum 25 years in jail to five, News Limited newspapers have reported.
The 19-year-olds are then expected to be transferred to Australia to serve their sentences, under a prisoner transfer agreement.
Carroll, a former student of St John's College Woodlawn, and Prince, a former Trinity Catholic College student, pleaded not guilty in April to robbing the WestStar Bank in the Colorado ski town of Vail of approximately $US130,000 ($A170,000).
Prince, a New Zealand passport holder, and Carroll, an Australian, left their homes in the Byron Bay area in November last year for a snowboarding and working holiday in the US.
Prince's lawyer, Warren Williamson, said while the evidence the teenagers committed the robbery was 'overwhelming', he would argue for reduced sentences based on Prince's lack of prior bank robbing offences, his age and quick confession and remorse, the papers report.
Prince's plea hearing is set for June 15 at the Denver Federal Court, while Carroll's plea will be heard on June 21.
Mr Williamson said he had spoken to the Australian Attorney-General's office and a transfer application would be made after sentencing.
Despite the seriousness of the offence, the pair have been made a laughing stock for their bumbling in carrying out the robbery.
Prince and Carroll are accused of using BB pellet guns to threaten two female bank employees at Vail's WestStar Bank on March 21.