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Two men plead guilty in Virginia Beach Wells Fargo robbery case; both are facing four life terms

Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-21 19:05:49-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - The crimes stunned the Virginia Beach community after a bank robbery got completely out of control.

On Wednesday, the men responsible entered a guilty plea and NewsChannel 3 was in the courtroom.

Two former high school buddies could be facing hard time.

42-year-old John Lewis and 44-year-old Rory Diggs terrified employees at the Wells Fargo bank on General Booth Blvd. last December.

Wearing masks and demanding cash, they stormed the bank, according to the stipulation of facts.

They allegedly instructed the workers to get on the ground and one even yelling to "have a nice day." They left with $34,000 stuffed in a backpack, according to court documents.

Their plan was foiled by State Police Sgt. James Pew.

He spotted their SUV driving erratically while on his way to work and a chase ensued. It ended on a dead end street.

Shots were fired and a bullet grazed Sgt. Pew's head.

The Castleton neighborhood was put on lockdown along with several of the surrounding schools as officers looked for the men.

Diggs was stopped after a foot chase and was found with the cash in a backpack. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest, according to court documents.

Meanwhile, Lewis wasn't picked up until the next day after he fled in the SUV.

Court records show that he was under surveillance by police and was arrested as he drove past his partner-in-crime's house.

The FBI stated that the two men could be responsible in a dozen other bank robberies in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

We checked in with the FBI, and they would only say that no one has been charged in any of those cases and they are still under investigation.

They stressed there is still a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction for the people responsible.

On Wednesday, both Lewis and Diggs pleaded guilty to attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, three counts of robbery and three counts of use of a firearm for the robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank.

Diggs will be sentenced on March 1st. Lewis will be sentenced on March 2nd.

They are both facing four life terms and 13 additional years as a maximum sentence.

Related: 

Two men plead guilty to robbing Virginia Beach bank, shooting at trooper