Bank robbery survivors tell their stories in a Tulsa courtroom

Tuesday, October 19th 2004, 11:07 am
By: News On 6

Shooting survivors tell their story in a Tulsa County courtroom Tuesday. During the hearing, two Tulsa businessmen testify about being shot during the robbery of the First Fidelity bank in June.

Four of the suspects were in court Tuesday and listened as the victims recounted their vivid memories of what it felt like to be shot and watch a young woman die. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright was in the courtroom when the bank's president told his story publicly for the very first time.

The men facing a combination of murder, shooting, robbery and accessory after the fact charges are cousins Alvin and Christopher Jordan, Tommy Doyle and Jeremy Williams. Bank president Mark Poole testified first.

He said four men wearing dark clothes and masks burst into the First Fidelity Bank just after 9 AM on June 22nd. He says after they got money from the teller, they told him to open the safe. He says he told them he couldn't because it was on a time delay. Poole says that's when he heard a gun shot and felt an excruciating pain in his right side, that bullet went through his right arm, into his chest, severed his intestine and colon and is still lodged in his left hip. While he was lying on the floor, he was shot again, this time in the left leg.

Howard Smith, a bank customer, also testified. He said he was shot him in the back and was also grazed on the head. He says lying there, he prayed, said a Hail Mary and believed he was going to die.

Bank teller Amber Rogers did die that day, even after she handed over the money. Prosecutors played a videotaped confession from Alvin Jordan, who told police he and Williams had been shooters.

This hearing is so a judge can decide if there's enough evidence to make the men stand trial. When cases make it to court, it's easy to focus on the suspects and who's accused of doing what. But this is about the victims.

Amber Rogers, who family grieves for her daily and the two men who are still struggling with their injuries and the terrified employees who witnessed it all.

The preliminary hearing should wrap up Wednesday. One of the key witnesses prosecutors expect to testify is actually the mother of one of the suspects.