CAMDEN — A Cumberland County man was convicted for his role in three armed bank robberies in 2014, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Friday.
Stephan Byrd, 44, was found guilty of three counts of bank robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm during a bank robbery, one count of using or discharging a firearm during a bank robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the trial lasted two weeks and the jury deliberated for about six hours before returning the verdict.
On June 7, 2014, Byrd entered the Ocean City Home Bank in Mays Landing. Court filings said Byrd approached the teller counter, pointed a gun at the employees and warned them not to push the panic alarm button. Byrd stole $5,576 from the bank and fled to the nearby woods.
Byrd later robbed the Newfield National Bank in Vineland with Charles Sanders on July 19. Both Sanders and Byrd were armed and pointed guns at bank employees. The attorney’s office said Byrd jumped over the bank counter to access the tellers and the cash drawer. The two stole a total of $10,297 from the bank before a dye pack in the money exploded during their escape.
Sanders has pleaded guilty to his role in the crime.
Two days later, Byrd went to the Malaga branch of Newfield National Bank and again jumped over the counter and pointed a gun at the bank teller. Byrd stole $6,139 and fled into nearby woods. A bank customer attempted to follow Byrd to get identifying information. When Byrd noticed he was being followed, authorities said, he pointed his gun and fired a shot at the bank customer.
According to Press archives, Byrd was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter in 1995 and sentenced to 28 years in prison. In 2014, he was accused of attempted murder for shooting a Vineland man before he was charged in two armed robberies.
Byrd faces 24 years to life in prison, according to the attorney’s office. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000. Byrd is scheduled to be sentenced July 18.