Family Responds To Bank Robbery Arrest - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/20/06 - Nacogdoches

Family Responds To Bank Robbery Arrest

by Donna McCollum

A Garrison man is behind bars once again for bank robbery. Leterrick Rodgers, 26, bond was set Thursday morning at $50,000 for the state robbery charge. Federal charges against him are pending. Authorities say Rodgers stole a large amount of money from the Hibernia Bank in Chireno. Employees had the impression he was opening an account. Instead he handed them a note indicating he was robbing the bank. He left in a car, but ran out of gas on Highway 7 east near the county line. He was arrested in some woods in Shelby County.

News of that arrest came as a complete disappointment to Rodgers' mother. This wasn't the first time she got a call from authorities that her son had robbed a bank. Neva Bryant said, "I just started crying. It hurted [sic] me because that's my baby." A mother's reaction when she hears her only son was arrested for bank robbery...a second time. Bryant said, "I wanted so much better for him, but the way society is today is hard once you do a crime it's hard."

In 1999, only 19 at the time, Leterrick Rodgers pointed a handgun in the face of clerks at Doches Credit Union. Three years earlier he had dropped out of high school. He left home living with friends and his sister, Sheki Rodgers. "he had a drug problem then, but not this time," she said.

Two months ago, at 26, her brother was released after six years in a federal prison. Bryant said, "He had been looking for jobs and stuff, but once he put down he had been in prison for bank robbery he couldn't get a job."

Bryant, who raised a boy and two girls by herself noticed that her son was depressed. Bryant was unaware of authorities suspecting that her son copied a check that she wrote to him for gas money. Lunsford Garage wouldn't accept it as payment for some car work. Rodgers promised to return the next day with a cashier's check. Instead he was arrested for robbing a Chireno bank.

His sister said, "No one else did it for him. He did it himself. He'll accept the blame because he did do it, but there's other aspects of life you could also blame." Like society according to Bryant. "My point is what if you had given him a chance, then maybe this would have never happened."

"He's not quote, a bank robber. That's not my son. I don't want people to say, 'Well that's all he is," said Bryant. She justifies things through her faith. She said her prayer is, "I put my child in your hands God. Let your will be done. Maybe a lot of t his happening for a reason for God to use him no matter where he's at. God can use him not matter where."

Rodgers received a GED and a real estate certificate in federal prison. Both may be put to little use should he return.

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