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Man Found Not Guilty In Peru Bank Heist

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2010

Despite admitting to a crime and being seen buying a toy gun at the Peru Walgreens and caught on surveillance taking money from Peru Federal Savings Bank, 36-year old Chad Diederich of Carbon Cliff was found not guilty of aggravated robbery.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about three hours yesterday afternoon before saying Diederich wasn’t guilty of the September 4th robbery.  While defending himself in the trial, Diederich admitted to a crime but accused the prosecution of “overcharging” him, saying he never showed or threatened use of a gun, something that needed to be proven for an aggravated robbery conviction.

During closing statements, Diederich pointed out to the jury that nowhere in the bank surveillance video did he either point the toy gun at the teller or show he had one.  Diederich explained to the jury that in his mind the teller gave police conflicting statements about seeing a gun.

State’s Attorney Brian Towne said the teller must be the “world’s greatest guesser” since the gun description she gave to police matched the one Diederich bought at Walgreen’s.  He also asked the jury if Diederich didn’t use the gun during the robbery, why did he need to throw it out the window of the getaway car.

Diederich’s co-defendant, Richard Rigg of Rock Island accepted a six-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against Diederich.  With the not-guilty verdict, Towne says he’ll “revisit” Rigg’s case.

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