Bank robbery suspect deemed fit for trial

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Canoe resident Chad Floyd Jeter, the suspect accused of the armed robbery of First National Bank & Trust in May 2009, has been deemed competent to stand trial a federal judge in Mobile ruled last week.

Jeter was arrested several days later following a three-hour manhunt in Levy County Florida that led law enforcement officers into a swamp after he stabbed an officer in the back with ninja throwing star.

Jeter was later arrested and charged with attempted murder after he stabbed Inglis Police Department officer Tim Swiggett with a Chinese throwing star once in the neck and four times in the back. Following the manhunt through the marshes in Yankeetown, Fla., bloodhounds tracked him down hiding in the marsh and took him into custody.

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Following his capture, he was sent to a federal facility in Miami. According to published reports, it was there that the medical staff diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic and determined he did not understand the nature of the charges, nor could assist in his own defense.

With doubts, authorities then transferred Jeter to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., where doctors prescribed him medication that they determined has made him competent. Chief U.S. District Judge William Steele endorsed that opinion last week.

Jeter was arrest on charges that he stole $6,829 from First National Bank & Trust and led authorities across state lines to capture him.

Surveillance video captured Jeter, armed with a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle, demand money from a teller at First National Bank & Trust and make a getaway with the cash in an older model, white GMC pick-up truck with a camper shell. Officials later found the camper shell burnt in a wooded area off Pine Barren Road in Walnut Hill, Fla. His capture was made more than 400 miles from the scene of the fire.

Even if Jeter is found not guilty of the bank robbery by reason of insanity, though, federal law allows the government to commit him to a mental facility until doctors determine he no longer is a threat to himself or others.

Canoe resident Chad Jeter is pictured in 2009 after being chased through a marsh in Levy County Florida and arrested.|Courtesy Photo