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The Journal Gazette

  • Banks

Friday, September 14, 2018 2:00 pm

Robber, kidnapper gets 26-year term

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

With members of his family sitting nearby, Myron Banks wept Friday as he apologized for taking part in a robbery and kidnapping last year. 

Banks, 32, was one of three men who robbed a couple in their home in December, tied them up and forced the woman into a car.

They were on their way to a grocery store on the city's southeast side, intending to rob the business, when police stopped the Jeep Banks was driving erratically on Hessen Cassel, police said. 

The other two men bailed out of the car before the traffic stop and were never arrested. He was alone then, as he was Friday in Allen Superior Court.

"I just hope they can find it in their hearts to forgive me," Banks said. 

Minutes later, he was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Banks and the other men trapped Martin and Maria Serrano in their home when the couple arrived there around 9:15 p.m. Dec. 19, a probable cause affidavit alleged.

Martin Serrano was hit in the head with a gun, punched in the face and bound with duct tape. His wife was also bound as the robbers asked where they could find drugs, guns, jewelry and money, court documents say.

Money, their cellphones and other items were taken. 

"If you lie to us, we will shoot you," the robbers said, according to the affidavit. 

Maria Serrano was taken in the Jeep, and the robbers wanted to go to El Paraiso, where the couple worked. She was supposed to get them into the safe there, investigators said. 

Left at home, Martin Serrano was tied to a chair in a utility room. He worked himself free and drove to a gas station to call for help, Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Adam Mildred said Friday.

The Serranos did not attend a sentencing hearing for Banks, but Mildred read a statement from Maria Serrano that said her life has been irreparably changed. 

She can't sleep, according to the statement, and she has to leave her home and stay in a hotel when her husband is out of town because she doesn't feel safe.

"More importantly, he took from me my sense of security and safety," the statement said. "I continue to have reoccurring nightmares about the events of that night. I'm now hyper-sensitive to any noise I hear in my house."

Banks was arrested after he tried to run from police, according to the affidavit, and police found the wife's driver's license, passport and other identification nearby.

He pleaded guilty Aug. 16. 

Marcia Linsky, his lawyer, told Judge Fran Gull her client is remorseful and accepts the consequences of his actions. A woman who identified herself as Banks' sister indicated the same. 

"If he were able to take back the events of that day ... he would," Linsky said. 

mleblanc@jg.net