Man admits robbing bank

A 36-year-old Indianapolis man has admitted to robbing a bank near Edinburgh and later crashing his car after a high-speed chase.

The plea agreement that Gary Ewing accepted during a July 3 hearing in Bartholomew Circuit Court called for him to plead guilty to both charges filed against him: robbery as a Level 5 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Level 6 felony.

But in exchange for the guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to ask Judge Kelly Benjamin that the sentences be served concurrently, rather than consecutively. That meant if the judge accepts the plea agreement, Ewing could not be sentenced to any more than six years in prison.

Sentencing, which was to be conducted Thursday, has been rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

During the noon hour on Jan. 11, Ewing went into the MainSource Bank, located off U.S. 31 just north of Edinburgh Premium Outlets, disguised in road construction garb, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

He handed a female teller a handwritten index card stating he had a gun, and demanded she give him $100, $50 and $20 bills, according to the affidavit written by Detective Jason Lancaster of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

As the teller gathered the money, the robber told her he wanted her $10 bills as well, Lancaster wrote.

Once the robber got the cash and left, one teller wrote down the license plate number of Ewing’s red Chevrolet Camaro while another called police to provide information on the suspect, the affidavit stated.

After being told by the teller that the suspect’s Camaro was heading north on Interstate 65, a Johnson County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle near the Franklin exit, Lancaster wrote. Speeds reached 110 mph as the suspect left and rejoined the interstate at two different interchanges before reaching the Raymond Street exit on the south side of Indianapolis, the affidavit stated.

But after the Camaro turned onto Shelby Street, the car became airborne while crossing railroad tracks and crashed down on top of another vehicle, causing minor injuries to its driver, Lancaster wrote.

When Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Detective Chad Swank arrived, he saw the injured Ewing lying down in an ambulance with cash on top of the blanket covering him, the affidavit stated. After Ewing saw Swank, he began to stuff the money into his pockets, Lancaster wrote.

A search of the wrecked Camaro uncovered the index card used in the robbery, the affidavit stated. While the suspect was in Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Swank was able to obtain some of the construction garb worn during the robbery that included a yellow-green safety vest, safety hat and safety glasses, Lancaster wrote.

During questioning, Ewing said he robbed the bank because he couldn’t find a job and his girlfriend was expecting a baby, the affidavit stated. He also said he never had a gun, Lancaster wrote.

A mitigating factor in the sentencing plea bargain was Ewing’s lack of a serious criminal history, according to the agreement.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.