HOUSTON - Three Houston men have been handed significant sentences following their convictions related to the armed bank robbery of a Katy area Chase Bank in 2014, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Keith Stephens, 28, Keon Jackson, 28, and Duquam Mathis, 22, all of Houston, pleaded guilty Oct. 19, 2015, to bank robbery and discharge of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence.
Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner considered their roles in the offense, the fact a gun was discharged, the way the victims were treated and amount of money taken. He then ordered Stephens to serve 210 months in prison for the bank robbery conviction and a consecutive 120 months for the firearms charge for a total of 330 months. Jackson and Mathis will serve respective terms of 97 and 70 months for bank robbery, each to be followed by a consecutive 10 years for total sentences of 217 and 190 months, respectively.
On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Mathis and Jackson entered the JP Morgan Chase Bank located at 6810 South Fry Road in Katy with their faces covered and carrying firearms. Stephens was outside acting as a lookout. Inside, Mathis and Jackson jumped over the teller counter, threatened an employee at gun point and forced her to open the bank’s vault. They took the money, fired a shot and exited the bank. That shot ricocheted and almost hit a child. Mathis and Jackson were taken into custody and admitted to participating in the robbery.
Stephens was arrested at his home on July 31, 2014, after investigators identified him in connection with another bank robbery that occurred June 27, 2014. At the time of his arrest, officers secured a handgun they found in the kitchen as they made their way to the bedroom where Stephens had been hiding. The handgun was a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson with Winchester ammunition, later determined to be the same firearm discharged on July 16, 2014.
Stephens was identified as the one who planned and organized the Chase Bank robbery. He has also pleaded guilty to bank robbery and brandishing of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence in relation to the second robbery. He will be sentenced in that case on July 19, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.
The FBI and Fort Bend County Sherriff’s Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celia Moyer and Richard D. Hanes prosecuted the case.