A 39 year old former Pepin man confessed to a Nelson bank robbery and pleaded guilty in Buffalo County Circuit Cour.
Duane Simon of Circle Pines, Minnesota. admitted he robbed the Bank of Alma-Nelson Branch of $10,780 in cash on the afternoon of March 30th. Judge James Duvall accepted a plea agreement in which a felony theft charge was dismissed and Simon pleaded guilty to felony robbery of a financial institution.
Buffalo County District Attorney Tom Clark recommended Simon serve five years in prison followed by 10 years of supervision by probation and parole. Duvall said he wanted to see a pre-sentence investigation of Simon's background and history before reaching a decision.
Sentencing was set for Nov. 15th.
Simon entered the Nelson bank armed with a pellet handgun and demanded money from bank tellers. Bank employees got a good enough description of his getaway car to alert police, resulting in Simon being pulled over while trying to flee south on Highway 35 toward Alma.
Stolen money inside a plastic grocery bag was recovered from Simon's car along with the mask and pellet gun. Although the bank theft charge was dismissed, it became part of the court record and can be used against Simon in determining a sentence.