The duo behind a rash of Phoenix bank robberies is out of business, with one now dead and the other under arrest, thanks to the efforts of an armed local businessman.
On Wednesday, the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union was targeted by Lyndell Cherry, age 29 and Vincent Jones, age 21, who entered at around 2 p.m. and demanded money. The two had left the keys in the ignition and the engine of their getaway vehicle running, a mistake which proved to be their undoing.
While the robbery was taking place, one credit union employee was able to call Sean Quaid, who owns a business next door to the credit union and told him what was happening. Quaid grabbed his gun and ran outside. After determining which was the likely vehicle of the perpetrators, Quaid removed the keys from the ignition.
When attempting their getaway, Cherry and Jones ran outside to their car and found they had no keys. They went back inside to see if they might have dropped them somewhere along the way, even going as far as searching a woman’s purse inside to see if she might have picked them up.
With time running out, the robbers ran back outside and accosted a couple in a Chevy pickup, with Jones pointing his gun and demanding their vehicle. At that point, Quaid stepped in, ordering the felonious pair to stop. It was then that Cherry reportedly spun around and aimed his gun at Quaid, who fired first, striking Cherry.
Jones jumped into the truck and drove off, crashing into several cars in the shopping center along the way as he made his way out into traffic. He reportedly ran a red light and collided with a minivan, which caused both vehicles to crash into an adjacent brick wall. Jones then bailed out of the stolen truck but was apprehended by police soon afterwards.
Fortunately no one was injured in the melee, other than the fatally shot Cherry. Unsurprisingly, Jones is reported to have still lived with his mother prior to taking up residence at his new home, at the Arizona taxpayer’s expense.
In addition to the multiple charges associated with this robbery, Jones admitted to police that the pair had also committed other robberies previously. He will not only face those charges, but he is also looking at six counts of kidnapping, one of aggravated assault, and one of first-degree murder for the death of Cherry.
It was not a good day for Cherry or Jones. It was a good day however for the Second Amendment, the people of Arizona and Sean Quaid, a hero who stood up and took action, and possibly saved innocent lives in the process.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday allowed Texas to enforce its voter identification law for the Nov. 4 midterm elections, denying emergency requests from the Obama administration and other challengers who said the law harmed minority voting rights.
The high court’s move, announced in an early morning order, is a setback for civil-rights advocates and marks the court’s fourth recent action on a state’s election procedures just ahead of Election Day.
A federal judge in Texas last week struck down the state law after holding a trial on the issue and concluding lawmakers acted with discriminatory intent when they enacted the law in 2011.
Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said the Texas law was the strictest in the country for several reasons, including because it allowed the fewest forms of acceptable photo identification and didn’t make certain accommodations for the poor and the elderly.
The judge said more than half a million registered voters, many of them black or Hispanic, were expected to lack the ID necessary to vote in person at the polls.
This week the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on an emergency appeal by state officials, decided Texas could use the voter ID law for this election. The appeals court said the state already had been training poll workers to apply the voter ID law and said it was too late to change the rules so close to the date when voters were due to begin casting ballots. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.
The appeals court said it was guided in part by recent Supreme Court emergency actions on election rules in Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The results in those cases pointed in different directions, but in each case the justices blocked late changes to state election procedures, seemingly out of concern for voter confusion. The high court didn’t offer an explanation for its course of action in those cases.
The same held true Saturday when a majority of the court issued a brief written order that allowed Texas to use its voter ID law. But three justices – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – dissented, saying the court should have intervened.
“The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters,” Justice Ginsburg wrote for the dissenters.
The Justice Department and civil rights groups had filed emergency appeals with the Supreme Court, saying there was no justification for allowing Texas to use the voter ID law after a judge found it to be discriminatory.
Texas said in court papers that its law wasn’t discriminatory and was approved to deter and detect voter fraud. The state also disputed the trial judge’s finding that large numbers of voters could be disenfranchised, saying it had taken extensive steps to mitigate “the already minor inconveniences associated with securing photo identification.”
The Supreme Court action Saturday wasn’t a ruling on the legality of the Texas law. The court was considering only whether the law could be applied while Texas appealed the trial judge’s ruling.
With the high court’s action in favor of Texas, three of the court’s four recent emergency actions in election matters have favored the states. The court also allowed Ohio to cut back on early voting and let North Carolina prohibit same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting. In a win for civil rights advocates, the court blocked Wisconsin from enforcing its voter ID law for the midterms.