'Hostage' pleads guilty in bank robbery

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man has admitted that he pretended to be a hostage during the robbery of a suburban bank.
David Khouri, 24, of Parma, pleaded guilty to a bank robbery charge Monday before U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan.
His accomplice, Jay Phares, 24, of Fairborn, pleaded guilty to the same charge earlier this month.
Each man faces four or five years in prison when sentenced July 10.
Phares told authorities that Khouri, his friend, walked into Fifth Third Bank in Parma on March 11, pretending to be Phares' hostage.
Federal prosecutors say Khouri told a bank employee that he had a bomb strapped to his leg and presented a note demanding at least $125,000. The device attached to his leg was actually a cell phone battery.
Khouri and Phares left with $127,000. About an hour later,
Khouri called police from a service station, saying his "captor" had just freed him.
Police and the FBI questioned Khouri, while Phares took the
money to his home near Dayton. The next day, agents confronted Phares, and he confessed.
All the money, except for $100, was recovered.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)