BRYAN – A Brazos County jury sentenced Bryan Champion , 43, of Houston, to 60 years in prison today for robbing Commerce National Bank in Bryan on July 30, 2013.
Champion pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday and elected to have the jury assess his punishment.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Champion and a co-defendant entered the Commerce National Bank at 29th and Broadmoor on July 30, 2013. Champion pulled a semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at tellers while his co-defendant jumped over the teller counter to retrieve money.
Prosecutors also called on a Bryan realtor who testified that the car used in the bank robbery had been stolen from him at gunpoint by two men approximately 90 minutes before Champion and his co-defendant arrived at the bank. The realtor testified he was hit in the face with the gun and his hands were bound. The two men tried to put the realtor in the trunk of the car but he fought and was able to escape.
Prosecutors also presented evidence that Champion robbed a store in Houston at gunpoint in 2003. A police officer that investigated that case testified that after the robbery, the store clerk was hyperventilating with fear. Champion was convicted of that offense and sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2004.
Champion must serve at least 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.