NEW CUMBERLAND - A woman arrested in connection with the Feb. 19 robbery of the Hancock County Savings Bank in New Cumberland has been placed on home confinement pending the disposition of her case.
Nereida Jade Marie Ferrer, 19, faces a felony charge of being an accessory before/after the fact to her boyfriend, Russell F. Culbreth, 34, who authorities say robbed the bank on Feb. 19 using a note. Ferrer, who goes by the name Jade, is accused of helping Culbreth escape and elude authorities in her car after the robbery.
Ferrer and Culbreth were arrested in Fayetteville, N.C., on Feb. 26 following a string of bank robberies in Virginia and North Carolina. Ferrer is not believed to be involved with the other robberies.
Ferrer was brought back to West Virginia on March 17 after she waived extradition, according to Hancock County Magistrate Court records. On March 22, she waived a preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court, and her case was bound over to Hancock County Circuit Court.
Ferrer posted a $25,000 recognizance bond and was placed in the custody of her mother and stepfather in New Manchester, court records said. She is subject to electronic monitoring and home confinement.
Court records say Ferrer was a high school dropout who later got her GED at the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center and she lived with Culbreth for two years in New Manchester.
"She does not appear ... to be a dangerous person, but one (who) has made some very bad choices ...," said David Taylor, supervisor of the Northern Panhandle Community Criminal Justice Board's Pre-Trial Release Program, in a letter dated March 21.
Taylor, who interviewed Ferrer at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville and recommended her for pretrial release, said Ferrer had "some very bad things" happen in her life. Taylor noted a history of drug use dating back to when Ferrer was 17.
Ferrer's mother tried to warn her away from the relationship and felt that her daughter was afraid to end it, according to Taylor's letter. Ferrer's mother said "things changed" for her daughter when she became involved with Culbreth, initially to babysit his children, the letter said.
New Cumberland Police Lt. Jeremy Krzys interviewed a female friend of Ferrer who said Ferrer confided in her, saying Culbreth "has a way of making her do things that she does not want to do, and if she first refuses to do something, he talks her into it," according to a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court.
The complaint said Culbreth and Ferrer were staying with a friend in New Cumberland around the time of the robbery because they had nowhere else to stay. Culbreth told Ferrer's friend that he was thinking about robbing a bank and that it would be easy because "all you have to do is give them a note," the complaint said.
The complaint quotes bank witnesses as saying that's what Culbreth did. He handed the teller a note that said, "Put the money on the counter. I don't want no trouble no one will get hurt," according to the complaint.
Culbreth allegedly left the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, leaving two $20 bills and a $1 bill on the counter. The complaint said Culbreth took the note with him and said "thank you" as he left.
Culbreth is being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center in Fayetteville on bank robbery charges. He likely will be tried there first, according to officials.