Kent man indicted, pleads not guilty to robbing Franklin Township bank in April

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

A Kent man faces a potential prison sentence of six to 14 years if convicted on a charge that he robbed a Franklin Township bank in April.

Andrew G. Knechtle, 25, with a last known address of 133 Brady St., was indicted April 25 on one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony with a firearms specification. If convicted, he faces three to 11 years in prison, plus a mandatory three year sentence for using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Knechtle pleaded not guilty to the lone count of the indictment at his arraignment in Portage County Common Pleas Court on April 29. Judge John Enlow set bond at 10 percent of $300,000 cash, and Knechtle remains in the Portage County jail pending a trial on July 16, according to court records. He is represented by the Portage County Public Defender's Office, records show.

Knechtle allegedly entered the FirstMerit bank branch at 1729 E. Main St. at 3:45 p.m. on April 11. Wearing dark clothing, a cap, a multi-colored scarf and sunglasses, he allegedly indicated that he was armed, forced a teller to hand over an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot, according to the Portage County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies tracked Knechtle to an area near the Campus Pointe apartment complex, where he allegedly changed his clothing and used a bicycle he had either hidden or stolen to complete the getaway, according to the sheriff's office.

Knechtle was identified as a possible suspect during a follow-up investigation. With the assistance of Kent and Kent State University police, he was interviewed and arrested April 16. He was cooperating with authorities at the time of his arrest, according to the sheriff's office.

Knechtle is a graduate of North Olmsted High School in Cuyahoga County, according to his Facebook page, and studied at Kent State for a time. He has been arrested or charged with misdemeanor crimes including but not limited to theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass at least eight times by Kent or Kent State police since April 2010, according to court records.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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