Man, 72, Convicted of Attempted Bank Robbery in Abilene

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A 72 year-old El Paso man was found guilty of attempted bank robbery on Tuesday, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

After two days of trial and just two hours of deliberation, a federal jury in Lubbock convicted James Earl Green, Jr. of attempted bank robbery.

According to evidence presented at trial, at approximately 7:40 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2019, Mr. Green accosted a First State Bank employee as she was attempting to enter the bank for opening.

Mr. Green held a handgun to the employee’s head and pushed her inside the bank, where he held her for approximately 20 minutes. During that time, surveillance video caught the defendant on camera pacing back and forth with an identifiable limp.

A second bank employee arrived at 7:57 a.m., and a struggle ensued. (Download surveillance footage here.) During the melee, Mr. Green struck the first employee on the head with his handgun. He then fled on foot without obtaining any money, leaving his two duffel bags behind.

An anonymous tipster notified the Abilene Police Department that a gold Cadillac had been parked across the street from the bank the morning before the robbery. Law enforcement then identified the Cadillac – a four door sedan with its front right hub cap cover missing – in surveillance video pulled from the bank’s vicinity. An employee of the City of Abilene narrowed down gold Cadillacs from a list of more than 11,000 to locate a matching gold Cadillac belonging to Mr. Green.  

After learning that Mr. Green lived in El Paso, officers reached out to an individual there that knew him, who reviewed the bank surveillance video and noted that the robber in the video walked in a similar manner to Mr. Green, who wore a prosthetic leg. She also shared a photo of Mr. Green’s Cadillac, which was gold and missing its front right hub cap cover.

Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab extracted a DNA profile from the duffel bag, ran it through the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and found a match to a sample from Mr. Green.  Additionally, a member of the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team obtained historical cell phone data from Mr. Green’s cell phone provider and placed Mr. Green’s cell phone traveling to Abilene from El Paso days before the attempted bank robbery and returning from Abilene to El Paso immediately following the attempted robbery.

Mr. Green now faces up to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for July 21.


The Abilene Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas and El Paso Field Offices, and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Crime Laboratory conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Callie Woolam and Ryan Redd tried the case. U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix presided over the trial.