United getaway: Alleged bank robber makes first court appearance

For a man with cuffed hands and chained feet, Richard Nelson Hawkins III appeared remarkably upbeat as he made his first court appearance in Charlottesville General District Court to face the charge of entering a bank armed to commit robbery. 

Smiling when led through the door by a bailiff, Hawkins was alert and leaned toward his attorney throughout the brief proceedings as the judge granted the defense an extension and ordered that Hawkins return to court on October 10. Hawkins was arrested on June 23— six days after he allegedly robbed the United Bank on the Downtown Mall—when, according to the Daily Progress, he tried to get painkillers from Augusta Health Medical Center in Fishersville. Other media have reported that he used a taxi to get away during the torrential downfall the day of the robbery.

With a rap sheet that includes possession of marijuana to grand larceny, Hawkins is no stranger to run-ins with the law. This charge— a Class 2 felony— is punishable by up to life in prison.