Bail-reform bank ‘robber’ should be in South Carolina prison: prosecutor

The accused bank robber who allegedly made a mockery of New York’s new bail-reform law apparently should have been locked up in South Carolina the entire time, a federal prosecutor revealed in Brooklyn federal court Sunday.

Gerod Woodberry, 42, has been convicted of five strong-arm robberies in the Palmetto State, according to prosecution papers filed in a bid to keep him locked up over his Friday arrest.

During his initial appearance in court, Magistrate Judge Steven Gold said that following Woodberry’s most recent conviction, in 2018, “he was sentenced to 15 years but had seven suspended.”

“How is he here today?” Gold asked.

In response, prosecutor Jack Dennehy said, “I don’t really understand this your honor.”

“The FBI did run a report and it seems to me was sentenced to 15 years, seven of which were suspended,” Dennehy said.

“Maybe it’s just my Catholic school education but the math just doesn’t add up. There seems to be no way he should be in Brooklyn in less than eight years.”

Federal defender Samuel Jacobson didn’t volunteer an explanation, and Woodberry — who wore a gray coat, gray pants and blue slip-on sneakers — wasn’t questioned about the situation.

Earlier, Woodberry twisted his head to look wide-eyed at reporters when he was escorted into the courtroom by FBI agents, but kept his head bowed during the brief hearing.

He said just “Yes” and “Yes, your honor,” when Gold asked him to confirm his identity and his awareness of the allegations against him.

Jacobson didn’t seek to have Woodberry released, but asked for a preliminary bail hearing that was scheduled for Friday.

Jacobson also sought to have the case against Woodberry dismissed for lack of probable cause and over a press release that US Attorney Richard Donoghue released following Woodberry’s arrest Friday, which Jacobson said was “essentially making Mr. Woodberry’s case a referendum on bail reform.”

Gerod Woodberry
Gerod WoodberryDCPI

Gold denied both motions but said Jacobson could file papers over Donoghue’s statements.

Woodberry vividly illustrated the consequences of the new bail law when he was set free on Jan. 10 following his arrest in four Manhattan bank robberies — then allegedly struck again in Brooklyn less than four hours later.

In between, Woodberry openly spoke of his shock at not having been tossed in the slammer, sources have told The Post.

“I can’t believe they let me out,” he allegedly said while retrieving his belongings from NYPD headquarters.

“What were they thinking?”

Woodberry allegedly attempted to rob a sixth bank on Tuesday, but left that Citibank branch in Manhattan without any cash.

On Friday afternoon, Woodberry — whose alleged exploits twice landed him on the front page of The Post — unexpectedly showed up at the Manhattan Criminal Court building to surrender, sources have said.

“I’m Woodberry,” he told a worker.

“I’m the one that’s been robbing banks.”

After being taken into custody by the NYPD, he was turned over to the FBI and locked up on a federal bank robbery charge lodged by Donoghue, who announced that he was was intervening to blunt the impact of the bail-reform measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed in April.

It prevents judges from setting bail for defendants charged with misdemeanors or non-violent felonies, which worked to Woodberry’s benefit because he’s never alleged to have used a weapon — only hand-written notes that demanded cash in “large” or “big” bills.

In a scathing rebuke of the bail-reform law, Donoghue called Woodberry’s alleged, 16-day robbery spree “unprecedented” and said it was “made all the more so by the fact that he was actually arrested and released in the midst of his crimes.”

“No sound, rational and fair criminal justice system requires the pre-trial release of criminal defendants who demonstrate such determination to continuously commit serious crimes,” Donoghue said.

If convicted of federal bank robbery, Woodberry would face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, with federal guidelines recommending 4-1/4 to 5-1/4 years, according to court papers.

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