'Man in Black' bank robber makes case to be set free on bail

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Mark Wetsch, the Minneapolis man known as "Man in Black" for his garb in robbing some 30 banks, has filed a motion on his own behalf to be released from jail while awaiting sentencing.

The Pioneer Press reports that Wetsch, 50, a former nurse, said he wants a hearing so he can argue for his release. He has pleaded guilty of six counts of bank robbery and admitted to 25 other robberies. No sentencing date has been set.

Wetsch tried this before, the paper reports, and when U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson accepted his guilty plea earlier this month, she rejected his request for release. "You pose both a danger to the public and a risk of flight," she told him at the May 6 hearing, according to the PiPress.

In his latest motion, Wetsch denies that he is a flight risk, and points to others who have committed lesser crimes are free on bail.

Wetsch was arrested in January 2012 after he robbed Rolling Hills Bank & Trust in Brewster, Minn. A month later, a federal grand jury indicted him on 13 counts of armed bank robbery that accused him of being the "Man in Black," a bandit who wore a black ski mask and dark clothing while sticking up tellers.

He said he was innocent, then recanted and last month and pleaded guilty of the Brewster heist. Wetsch worked out a plea bargain in which he would plead guilty to five counts of bank robbery and prosecutors would drop the remaining seven.

The agreement also specified that he would admit to bank robberies he committed in 2011. He has admitted to 30 of them, with a haul of nearly $115,000. The paper says he could be sentenced to up to 14 years and restitution on all robberies, which would be a lot of money even for the original "man in black" -- the appropriately named Johnny Cash.

Next Up

protest, chauvin, george floyd

Walz: Demobilization of troops, police to happen 'as quickly as possible'

It's unclear just when troops and police will pull out of the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 5.33.13 PM

'The first step towards justice': AG Ellison calls for change after Chauvin conviction

Ellison's office led the prosecution of the former Minneapolis police officer.

chauvin

Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in George Floyd's death

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 4.13.07 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Reaction as Derek Chauvin is found guilty on all counts

We bring you the latest reaction after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Derek Chauvin

Watch live: Verdict in Derek Chauvin murder trial

The verdict will be announced between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Verdict reached in Derek Chauvin murder trial

A verdict will be read Tuesday afternoon.

logan olson gofundme

18-month-old boy who nearly drowned welcomed home with police escort

Logan Olson was found in a retention pond in Stewartville on April 7.

covid, vaccine

Is Minnesota's latest surge plateauing? Expert says 'no idea'

Hospital admissions have leveled off in the past week, though ICU cases have risen.

Related

FBI thinks it may have caught bank robber known as 'Man in Black'

The FBI is trying to determine whether a man suspected of bank robbery in southern Minnesota is the same man involved in a string of heists around the metro area. Authorities arrested the suspect after a bank robbery in Brewster, Minn.

Alleged "Man in Black" pleads not guilty to 13 bank robberies

Mark Wetsch is charged with 13 counts of armed bank robbery in various towns around Minnesota. He was arrested after a robbery in Brewster, Minnesota, last month. Authorities say he referred to other robberies.

Serial robber in rubber nose hits Minneapolis bank

A sharp dresser with a cheap disguise robbed a Minneapolis bank in what authorities say is at least his fifth bank holdup in recent months. The most recent heist was Friday, shortly after noon at the Guaranty Bank at 1540 New Brighton Blvd., inside the Rainbow Foods store. He pointed a semiautomatic handgun at the teller, fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and remains at large.