Trial postponed in bank robbery case

A Marshalltown man who has been sentenced to federal charges in an armed bank robbery has waived a speedy trial for state charges.

Abel A. Ramirez, 23, was sentenced in July to 14 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to his involvement to a Marshalltown bank robbery last November.

Ramirez, and his accomplice, Benjamin J. Crisantos, 23, were charged after they robbed the Lennox Employee’s Credit Union at gunpoint. While fleeing the scene Crisantos shot Marshalltown Police Officer Vern Jefferson, who returned fire and hit Crisantos. Jefferson was later honored with the Iowa Police Chiefs Association Officer of the Year award for his actions during the robbery.

Ramirez is charged with attempted murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree theft, assault while participating in a felony, willful injury, extortion and assault causing injury.

His attorney, Scott Hunter, a public defender, filed a motion to continue on Monday. With the waiver of a speedy trial, it could be up to one year before Ramirez faces state charges. Assistant Marshall County Attorney Paul Crawford said he did not object to the continuance. A jury trial had previously been set for Friday.