Bank robbery suspect pleads not guilty

Bank robbery suspect Mark Chambers, who hitchhiked to the Kaua‘i Police Department to turn himself in last month, pled not guilty on Monday and will face trial.

Chambers, 50, of Hanalei, was indicted June 12 in Honolulu federal court on the felony charge of bank robbery by force or violence. On Monday, he was arraigned and formally pled not guilty, according to court records.

The jury selection portion of the criminal trial was set for Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. in Chief United States District Judge Helen Gillmor’s O‘ahu courtroom.

Chambers is currently being held without bail, according to public defender Pamela Byrne.

Phone messages left for prosecuting attorney Amy Olson, representing the United States in the case, were not returned.

Chambers was arrested on May 27 for allegedly robbing the First Hawaiian Bank branch in Lihu‘e’s Kukui Grove Center on May 24.

Chambers has a pair of bank robbery convictions on his record, one stemming from a 1982 incident in Los Angeles and another from a 1997 Kaua‘i robbery that, like the newest charge, was turned over to federal prosecutors.

He pled guilty in the 1997 case and was eventually sentenced to four years, three months in prison and three years of supervised release.

According to KPD records, he served his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore., a medium-security facility.

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