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Guardman accused of bank robbery enters guilty plea

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

CONYERS -- One of the two Georgia Army National Guardsmen accused of being involved in a 2010 armed robbery of a local credit union pleaded guilty Tuesday in Rockdale County Superior Court.

Jamelle Lloyd Francis, 26, of Grayson entered guilty pleas for armed robbery of Georgia's Own Credit Union on Sigman Road and for possession of a firearm during commission of a crime.

He also agreed to plead guilty to 18 counts of aggravated assault and false imprisonment against customers inside the credit union during the armed robbery that took place on Dec. 23, 2010, according to court papers filed after Tuesday's hearing.

Sentencing of Francis will be deferred until the trials of his two co-defendants are completed, according to Rockdale County Assistant District Attorney Dabney Kentner.

Sean Jamarko Foster, 22, of Stone Mountain and Menshack Jah Nyepah, 22, of Decatur are also charged in the armed robbery and are awaiting trial.

Nyepah and Francis were identified as a guardsmen at the time of their arrests. Foster was not a member of the National Guard.

The robbery occurred about 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2010, at Georgia's Own Credit Union, located at 620 Sigman Road. Two masked men entered the bank, brandished handguns and ordered everyone to the ground. The men fled on foot, then got in a silver Mercury Marquis.

A couple followed the vehicle and told police the vehicle's location. Conyers Police caught Francis that day. Nyepah turned himself in to authorities four days later.

Foster, who investigators allege was the driver of the getaway car, was arrested at a Jonesboro residence by the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

After Francis' and Nyepah's arrests, police discovered both of the men were soldiers in the Army National Guard, each holding the rank of specialist. They were attached to the HHC 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade out of Fort Gillem, according to police.

Police investigators said Francis was wearing his Army uniform under the coveralls he disposed of in a wooded area after the hold-up.