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74-year-old South Tampa bank robber will take plea deal

James Bruce, 74, the 74-year-old grandfather accused of robbing three South Tampa banks this year, was in court Tuesday for a pretrial conference. Attorneys told the judge that there will be a resolution in the case Monday morning. The judge agreed and set a 8 a.m. court date. Shown next to Bruce is his wife, Vickie, who has been by his side for every court appearance.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

James Bruce, 74, the 74-year-old grandfather accused of robbing three South Tampa banks this year, was in court Tuesday for a pretrial conference. Attorneys told the judge that there will be a resolution in the case Monday morning. The judge agreed and set a 8 a.m. court date. Shown next to Bruce is his wife, Vickie, who has been by his side for every court appearance.

TAMPA — James Bruce, the 74-year-old grandfather accused of robbing three South Tampa banks this year, is expected to take a plea deal next Monday in lieu of his scheduled trial.

Bruce, who walks with a slow shuffle and needs help carrying the pots he sells at his West Shore Boulevard garden store, demanded $600 from each bank, police said.

He told detectives he didn't want to hurt anyone and needed the money to pay bills. Family members told them they worried about his memory.

Attorneys on both sides of Bruce's case told Hillsborough Circuit Judge Nick Nazaretian on Tuesday that the case would not go to trial as scheduled next week and that it would be resolved with a deal.

Bruce faces three bank robbery charges, all second-degree felonies.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

74-year-old South Tampa bank robber will take plea deal 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 11:12am]
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