Prude Death Investigation

XFCU armed robbery, murder suspect appears in court

Local News

The man accused of killing a man during the 2003 armed robbery at the Xerox Federal Credit Union in Webster appeared in federal court on Wednesday.

Two people were shot – including Raymond Batzel, who died.

Richard Wilbern, 56, was taken into custody last week after FBI investigators received a tip that helped connect the dots. 

Wilbern now has capital council, and in federal court, it was discussed whether or not the death penalty is on the table in this case.

His council, William Easton, said he feels this case doesn’t fit the guidelines for the death penalty and calls it a burden to everyone involved, including his client and his client’s family.

There has been a request submitted for an expedited review on the decision. Attorneys say typically, that process takes 30 to 45 days – and that process began this week for this case.

Batzel’s family was in court and gave us their take on what they thought.

“If the death penalty can be absolutely assured that it will go through, but I would awfully much hate to have the attorneys work so very hard,” said Rowena Bennett, Batzel’s mom. “I’ve been informed there’s an extra expense, extra time and it takes a lot of their time, and it takes some of their heart and knowledge also. And if they get it right to fruition and the top person says, ‘No, we’re not going to do this,’ then it’s been a waste.”

The judge set a date to see where they are in the expedited review process for November 7.

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