Jessica Benson, charged in Educators Credit Union robbery, appears to have reached a plea deal

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Jessica Benson -- charged in connection with a May, 2013 robbery of the Educators Credit Union on W. Appleton appears to have reached a plea deal in the case against her.

Benson, a college student, disappeared shortly after the robbery — just days before her graduation from Mount Mary University. She worked at the Educators Credit Union where the robbery occurred.

The robbery was captured on surveillance video.

A man is seen passing a note that investigators say included words used by credit union employees. Law enforcement officials believe there were similarities in the writing between the piece of evidence and what they found in Benson’s dorm room.

Prompted by Benson’s strange absence from work, the police did a welfare check and found a vacant apartment where she had stayed with her boyfriend.

According to court records, witnesses saw Benson and her boyfriend moving furniture into a U-Haul truck after dark, either a few days before the bank robbery, or a few days after – reports vary.

Additionally, a detective spoke with Benson’s friend, who said he saw her driving a rental car on Friday, May 10th, three days after the robbery. He also said Benson, who was wearing dark sunglasses at the time, had cut her hair short and dyed it light brown with blonde highlights.

The Credit Union said Benson called in sick on May 11th.

Benson was eventually apprehended in northern Illinois.

A charge of robbery of a financial institution as party to a crime was issued against Benson in November of 2013.

Two people have been convicted and sentenced in connection with the robbery.

26-year-old Kevin Blackburn was found guilty by a jury of three charges: robbery of a financial institution, driving or operating a vehicle without consent, and fleeing/eluding an officer.

Blackburn was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and six years of extended supervision.
32-year-old Ricardo Perkins pleaded guilty to one count of robbery of a financial institution and driving or operating a vehicle without consent.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, and four years of extended supervision.

Jessica Benson has a plea hearing scheduled for December 17th.

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