State seeking to revoke release of getaway driver in fatal armored car robbery

Wess Haubrich

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The scene that day at the US Bank.Jeff Reinitz / WCF Courier

29-year-old Justina Lynn Davis violated the terms of her pre-trial release by getting entangled in other legal issues, Waterloo, Iowa prosecutors allege.

March 11, 2020 started like most any other Wednesday in the quiet town of Waterloo, IA in the North-Northeast part of the state. It was around 50 degrees that day and despite the endless parade of horrible news surrounding this new COVID-19 virus, many of the town’s almost 68 thousand people were looking forward to the gradual blooming of spring.

This was perhaps best exemplified by the warming trend for the rest of the week, with the usually brutal midwestern weather plateauing to temps around the low 60’s for the rest of the week.

29-year-old Justina Lynn Davis was sitting in her Hyundai Sonata with her windows down in the lovely March weather. She did everything she could to relax where she was… but she couldn’t… not knowing what was happening blocks away from her on Kimball Avenue.

There, outside a branch of US Bank, three of her friends were knocking the armored car over as it moved the bank’s weekly deposits. They had a vague plan where they would rob it and run to the getaway vehicle a few blocks from the bank. They expected somewhere in the neighborhood of a $2 million dollar payday considering where the armored car was and how much cash the average one carries (the $2 million figure being way below its capacity).

She expected around a $500 thousand payout for her part, the loot being split four ways between Kevin Jouse Cruz Soliveras, age 29, from nearby Evansdale; Rogelio Gonzalez, age 37, from Waterloo; and Bryce Miller, age 37, of La Porte City, a rural area near Waterloo. Davis was from another outlying community called Urbandale.

She could not calm down.

There the shots rang out from the direction of the bank. One. Two… Three, four. Each loud as a thunderclap. All making her blood run cold.

A few more shots rang out as Davis was also greeted by the rapid approach of sneakers running on concrete from a junk car shot to pieces. Only two of her friends returned.

Gonzalez was shot in the knee while Soliveras took a round in his head. Both men survived their injuries.

Miller was not so lucky. He was shot dead as he approached the armored car drivers with two pistols.

Both the drivers were uninjured. All three remaining perpetrators were arrested in the days after the botched heist.

Davis was granted pre-trial release unlike her two cohorts. The state is now looking to revoke that bit of mercy shown her because of two other criminal infractions she allegedly committed in recent months.

First, she was caught operating the same Sonata which had been used as the getaway car following an October traffic stop in nearby Hampton. She failed a field sobriety test and refused a breathalyzer.

Second, she was allegedly in a BMW on June 26 that fled police in Tama County, near the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Casino. Witnesses describe her leaving the vehicle and eluding pursuing tribal police on foot in the town of Traer. She was discovered in the municipal pool’s restroom changing her clothes.

Davis’s trial, along with Gonzalez’s trial, are set to begin next month in Waterloo.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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