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Teen Pleads Guilty in Fullerton Bank Heist

An 18-year-old Rowland Heights man pleaded guilty Monday to participating in an armed bank robbery in Fullerton with his wife, who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Kiefer Kristian Maddex admitted robbing the Bank of America branch on Feb. 24 of more than $15,000. The details of the robbery were spelled out in a plea agreement signed by Maddex, who implicated his wife, 19-year-old Elizabeth Julie Hernandez Maddex of Rowland Heights, and 27-year-old friend Larry Thomas Stratton Jr. of Garden Grove.

Stratton and the young mother, who left U.S. District Court in Santa Ana in tears, are each charged with one count of armed bank robbery. Their trial is set for July 8. Elizabeth Maddex, who gave birth to a girl named Vanessa, is free on bail, but the two men are being held without bail.

Maddex faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 22. But his attorney, Rob Scott, said he probably will get four to eight years.

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Police have said Elizabeth Maddex, a former employee of the Fullerton bank who was fired last year, was the mastermind behind an elaborately planned crime. She was almost seven months pregnant when she hatched the plan and refined it after two attempts failed, officials said.

Elizabeth Maddex was a Rowland High School honors student and cheerleader before meeting Maddex in a college psychology class in 1995. She said they lurched into adulthood in the wrong order, conceiving a child as teenagers without incomes to support the lifestyle they wanted.


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