The trial of a former western Iowa lawman, charged with a Cass County bank robbery last year, is being delayed, again. U-S District Court Judge Harold Vietor this week granted a continuance in the case of 41-year-old Richard Dean Swope, of Atlantic. Swope was charged with robbing the First National Bank in Anita on August 8th, 2006.
Swope’s trial was to have begun next Monday, but in his ruling, Vietor said he would allow attorneys more time to prepare their case, and/or arrange for a plea bargain. It’s the eighth time his trial has been continued. Swope’s defense attorney James Whelan had asked the judge to disallow evidence obtained from Swope’s home following the robbery, because he says it was obtained .
Swope, who once served as Anita’s Police Chief, is alleged to have entered the bank 15 minutes after it opened, and during the course of the robbery, allegedly fired a shot into a wall before making-off with a little over $5,000 in cash. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is currently being held in the Newton Correctional facility. His trial in U.S. District Court will be held July 30 in Des Moines.