Alleged bank robber pleads not guilty to 15 charges

Question about his mental competence delayed arraignment

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: February 16, 2012, 5:05 PM

 
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Wells Fargo Robbery

A Vancouver man accused of robbing a Wells Fargo bank and then turning a gun on a police officer in December was arraigned Thursday on 15 criminal charges. His case had been delayed for months over a question about his mental competency.

Stephen A. Lubeck, 19, pleaded not guilty to charges related to the Dec. 1 heist, including additional charges filed Thursday. Charges include first-degree robbery, eight counts of second-degree assault and six counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Trial was set for March 28.

The assault charges relate to bank employees and patrons whom Lubeck allegedly pointed a gun at as he entered the bank, according to charging papers. Vancouver police Officer Jeffrey Anaya, who confronted Lubeck after he left the bank and ran behind the Ross Dress for Less store, is also listed as an alleged victim.

Anaya shot Lubeck in the upper thigh after the suspect threatened to shoot if Anaya didn’t shoot him, according to court documents. The officer was cleared in December of any charges related to the shooting.

Prosecutors filed the unlawful imprisonment charges against Lubeck because they say he ordered bank employees to retrieve more money from the vault — more than $300,000 — and then he allegedly ordered them to not move or do anything before he fled, according to charging documents.

After Lubeck’s arrest, the gun, which police said looked identical to a pistol, was discovered to be a BB gun.

In an interview, Lubeck told investigators that he wanted to “get in a shootout with police” and was upset the officer didn’t kill him, according to court documents.

Lubeck was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for several days before being booked into the Clark County Jail.

Following his first appearance, the defendant’s attorney, Robert Vukanovich, requested his client be evaluated at Western State Hospital to determine whether he was competent to proceed and assist in his own defense.

Thursday, following word from psychologists, Lubeck was determined to be competent and the green light was given for him to be arraigned. He remains in jail on $500,000 bail.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts;www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker;laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.