Two men shot and killed a bank security guard in Gary and robbed nearly $10,000 to pay off bills of an amateur football team, according to federal prosecutors who say they are considering the death penalty.
When one of the suspects — an owner and coach of the Illini Panthers — was tracked down in Georgia days after the June 11 attack, he offered to “work off” the charges against him by becoming an FBI informant, a 17-page affidavit states.
Hailey Gist-Holden, 26, is facing charges of armed bank robbery, using a firearm during the robber, and causing death. A second suspect, James Anthony King Jr., 24, of Miami, Florida has been indicted on the same charges.
The two are accused of ambushing guard Richard Castellana as he was walking on the sidewalk outside First Midwest Bank and shooting him in the face.
Castellana, 55 — a retired Cook County sheriff’s deputy — “did not even see them before he was shot,” according to the federal complaint.
Gist-Holden and King walked into the bank, one demanding money from the teller while the other stood as a lookout, the complaint said. They made off with a total of $9,771.09.
King was tracked down in a nearby wooded area within hours. Police said they found a backpack with cash and a .40-caliber Glock handgun near where they caught King.
He told authorities that he was a player on the football team and that his coach was the one who shot Castellana, the complaint said.
Gist-Holden was arrested following a high-speed chase June 18 in Georgia after he crashed his car, the complaint said.
Gist-Holden was facing financial troubles: He couldn’t pay rent on his house in Gary or the hotel bill where team members were staying in Downers Grove, the complaint stated.
Acting U.S. Attorney Tina Nommay said her office will ask the U.S. Department of Justice for permission to seek the death penalty against one or both of the suspects.
She said such action would have to be approved by a committee of senior Justice Department officials in Washington, D.C. as well as the U.S. attorney general and his deputy.
Castellana had been a Cook County sheriff’s deputy for 35 years before retiring. He had lived in Tinley Park.