Letcher County bank robber mistaken for brother

A man charged with robbing a Jenkins bank turned himself in to get his brother off the hook, according to city police Chief James Stephens.

Derick S. Bates' brother looks like him and was first a suspect. Bates said he felt bad about that, so he and his brother came to police together for Bates to turn himself in, Stephens said.

Police charged Derick Bates, 22, with first-degree robbery and theft early Tuesday. His brother, Ricky A. Bates Jr., 24, was not charged, Stephens said.

The robbery happened Sept. 5 when a man barged into the Community Trust Bank with a long knife, grabbed about $1,000 off the counter and ran out. A customer had brought in the money to deposit, Stephens said.

Police first thought the robber was Ricky Bates. The man on the bank's video looked like Bates, a convicted felon.

Police got a warrant and searched Ricky Bates' Jenkins house Monday. They found clothing and knives similar to those bank employees described, as well as 2 to 3 ounces of marijuana, but Bates was not there, Stephens said.

Derick Bates said that after he heard there was a warrant out for Ricky, he decided he needed to go to police. Derick Bates confessed to the robbery, Stephens said.

"He said he was high and got the wild idea to go and rob something," Stephens said.

Derick Bates said he spent the loot on beer and drugs. He also bought a pair of shoes; he hadn't worn a mask during the robbery, but wanted to make sure shoe prints didn't give him away, Stephens said.

Police didn't recover any of the money.