In 2006, Henry Brailey and three (3) others robbed a SunTrust Bank in Hanover County, Virginia which is about nine (9) miles north of Richmond. Henry went into the bank armed with a pellet gun with his then girlfriend, Maggie Jones. During the robbery no shots were fired and no one was physically injured.
The bank tellers put cash in a bag supplied by Henry along with, a dye pack and an explosive device which exploded shortly after Henry and Maggie left the bank. Maggie’s 17-year-old son Robert Jones and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Ashling Goode, who is white, were positioned in the parking lot of a nearby school in Ashling’s green Honda, which was going to be used as a “switch car”. After Henry and Maggie arrived in the school parking lot, they switched cars and left in Ashling’s car while Robert and Ashling left in Henry’s SUV. The police were given a description of the SUV by the people in the bank and when it was spotted and a pursuit began, Robert and Ashling stopped the SUV in the middle-of-the-road and ran into the woods. They returned shortly to the SUV which was then surrounded by the police and turned themselves in. Ashling told the police that she was aware of the robbery and participated by using her car as a switch vehicle.
Henry and Maggie who were in Ashley’s vehicle were stopped by the police in the city of Richmond. Henry and Maggie were indicted and tried in the Hanover County Circuit Court for both waived a jury. Because Maggie was well disguised, she was not credibly identified and the court acquitted her. Henry however was convicted on all charges and he was sentenced to 93 years 53 of which were suspended for the rest of his life leaving him leaving him with an active sentence of 40 years.
Maggie was later indicted for bank robbery in federal court in Richmond, Virginia and received a six (6) year sentence. After Robert and Ashling were arrested, she was released on bond which lasted throughout her trial. Robert had no appreciable record was denied bond and remained incarcerated through out his trial. They were tried together as adults in Hanover Cir. Ct. and both waived a jury trial. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Ashling voluntarily participated in the bank robbery, she was acquitted of all charges. Robert was found guilty of all charges and was incarcerated in the juvenile justice program until he reached his 21st birthday. The court sentenced him to a total sentence of eighteen (18) years and suspended 15 years requiring Robert to serve 3 years.
Tori Pollard a white female robbed two banks in the span of two weeks in December 2010, one in Spotsylvania County Virginia and the other was the same SunTrust Bank that Henry robbed in Hanover County. On December 1, 2010 Tori was sentenced to 25 years with 21 years 3 months suspended on the. Spotsylvania County bank robbery. On August 30, 2011, Tori pled guilty to the SunTrust robbery and despite the fact that she had a previous felony conviction in Spotsylvania County for credit card fraud and her conviction on the Spotsylvania County bank robbery, she was sentenced to only 3 years and 8 months for the Sun Trust bank robbery which for some reason was described as a “robbery of a residence” rather than bank robbery. In light of the foregoing facts, Henry was clearly the victim of race and gender discrimination in his sentencing and it is this issue which we are pursuing to get him released on time served through a petition with the governor of the State of Virginia to have his sentence commuted.