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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2007
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No longer
on the run

Police arrest 3 First American
Bank robbery suspects

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

Decatur police Tuesday arrested two alleged accomplices of an accused robber who had turned himself in to authorities.

Mark Anthony Pride, 41, of 310 Kenneth Blvd., Madison, turned himself in to Madison police Tuesday afternoon because of extensive media coverage of the robbery to the First American Bank branch at 2004 Sixth Ave. S.E. on Friday afternoon.

The tips that helped break the case came from Decatur Daily readers, said Sgt. Rick Archer.

"The photograph published by The Daily was instrumental in breaking this case. That generated numerous tips that led to the identification of the suspects," he said.

Police released photos of Pride along with information about his personal connections and asked the public for help in determining his whereabouts Monday.

"We had made an extensive and coordinated effort with Madison Police Department, the Limestone sheriff's office and the FBI," Archer said. "We spent a long time (Monday) going to places he was known to frequent and speaking with relatives of his. I guess he realized the gravity of the situation and realized that the number of places for him to hide was diminishing."

Pride, also wanted by Madison police on charges he robbed a Regions Bank in Madison on March 14, cooperated with investigators Tuesday, Archer said.

Later in the day, police arrested two people believed to have been waiting outside in a getaway car while Pride was inside the bank handing the teller a note demanding money, Archer said.

Pride's wife, Lee Aster King, 51, of 327 Larkwood Drive S.W. and her daughter's boyfriend, Darnell Monroe Long, 30, of 607 Seventh Ave. N.W., each face charges of third-degree robbery, the same as Pride will face when he is transferred back to Morgan County from Madison County Jail.

Archer had earlier charged King with second-degree hindering prosecution.

"She came forward," Archer said. "She realized that his (Pride's) identification was imminent and it would lead us to her and we would soon discover that she owned the vehicle that was used in the robbery. She saw no option but to come forward and identify him. But obviously, she wasn't completely truthful regarding her involvement.

"The investigation revealed that there were three people involved in the planning and execution of the robbery. ... They (King and Long) were both involved in either the planning or the execution of the robbery."

Pride will be booked into Madison County Jail and held in lieu of $10,000 bond. Upon making bail, he will be transferred to Morgan County Jail, arrested and held in lieu of $50,000 bond. If he should the bond out, he will be transferred back to Madison County to face a parole revocation hearing.

Long and King remained in Decatur City Jail, awaiting a bond hearing today.

It was not immediately known whether King or Long were also suspected in the Madison robbery.

Long is the man who lost his leg when he was hit by a train on the CSX railroad in Decatur on Oct. 9.

Archer said police have no information leading them to believe the three have been involved in any other robberies, but that police would review cases to make sure.

He thanked the many people who called police with information about the case.

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