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'Fingerpoint' Robber Pleads Guilty

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Housewright on his way to court Wednesday.

'Fingerpoint' robber pleads guilty

An Ann Arbor man suspected of robbing six banks with only his finger as a “weapon” has agreed to plead guilty to two of the holdups, his attorney said Wednesday.

Richard Lee Housewright, 34, waived preliminary examination Wednesday in 15th District Court. Assistant public defender Walter White told Judge Pieter G.V. Thomassen that Housewright will plead guilty in Washtenaw County Circuit Court as part of an agreement with the prosecutor’s office.

In exchange, the defendant will not be charged in the other four daylight robberies, or charged with a separate count of being a habitual offender.

Each of the bank robbery charges carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Housewright was identified by police in two bank surveillance photos taken during robberies. The man who robbed the six banks over a five-week period reportedly stuck his finger in his pocket to indicate he had a gun, but no weapon was ever seen. In one bold incident, the man pointed his bare hand at a teller and still received cash.

Housewright was arrested Nov. 19 while getting off an Amtrak train at the Dearborn station and into a cab headed for Toledo. Witnesses said Housewright boarded the train in Ann Arbor, minutes after a downtown robbery. That holdup occurred the day after the fifth robbery in the series, and the first to lead to Housewright’s identification by photo.

Cameras in the first four banks were not working or not turned on during the robberies.

Housewright is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court at 8:30 a.m. next Tuesday.