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Woman to serve more than two years for Duffield bank robbery

November 6th, 2012 5:55 am by Wes Bunch

GATE CITY — A Big Stone Gap woman was sentenced to more than two years in prison in Scott County Circuit Court last week for her role in the June 2012 robbery of a Duffield bank. 


Tabitha Nicole Sullivan, 27, Main Avenue West, was given a 10-year sentence with seven years and six months suspended by 30th Circuit Judge Chad Dotson. She was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and $2,373 in restitution, as well as complete 250 hours of community service. 


Sullivan pleaded guilty to a single count of robbery June 13, just a week after she was arrested for the Duffield BB&T Bank robbery that took place June 6. 


By entering her guilty plea at that time, Sullivan waived all subsequent hearings. 


Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said it was uncommon for a defendant to immediately enter a guilty plea and waive the right to stand trial. 


“It’s extremely rare, and I think the court considered that when they set her sentence,” Mc-Clung said. 


During her sentencing hearing, Sullivan’s attorney presented evidence that she has no prior criminal history and had acted out of character due to financial stress she was under at the time. 


McClung said those factors also contributed to the length of her sentence, which was within Virginia sentencing guidelines. 


Authorities arrested Sullivan at her home in Big Stone Gap on June 8, two days after she made off with more than $2,300 from the bank located at 466 Duff-Patt Road. 


Sullivan reportedly walked into the bank wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask and told employees that her car contained a bomb and was parked outside the building. 


After spending two days following more than 15 leads, authorities identified Sullivan as a suspect when they learned the car she used to make her getaway had been borrowed for a test drive from a local auto dealership.

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