Vanessa Ashley Ashford, 28, of Shreveport, La., is expected to plead guilty to the two first-degree felonies in Smith County 241st District Court. She is accused of robbing the Regions Bank at 1810 SSE Loop 323 on March 29. She also confessed to the Feb. 29 robbery of the Telco Credit Union, 620 W. Front St. in Tyler, after her arrest for the bank robbery, Tyler police said in March.
After the defendant makes the open plea before the judge, there will be a sentencing trial with a jury who will decide her punishment, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish said. Both charges are aggravated robberies, which are first-degree felonies, which are punishable by probation or up to life in prison, Parrish said.
Tyler police officers located Ms. Ashford in the vehicle she is accused of using in the robbery. Erbaugh said in March that police located a bag full of money and an exploded dye pack in the trunk of the car.
In court on Monday, Parrish, along with defense attorney Jeffrey Grass, said a forensic psychiatrist had conducted a mental competency exam on Ms. Ashford in June and found her competent to stand trial.