Needed to Pay for Wedding Venue, Ring
By Will Johnson
TRINITY/HOUSTON COUNTY – Weddings are expensive. There’s the venue, the cake, the caterer, the flowers, the ring, etc. Money may have been set aside for the nuptials by one family of the other but other times the groom or bride might need to see about getting a loan. Sometimes, however, it may seem easier to just rob a bank.
Such was the case for 30-year-old Crockett resident Heath Edward Bumpous. In a bad life decision, the soon-to-be groom decided to forgo the loan process. Bumpous – who had recently served in a leadership role with Houston County EMS – instead chose to hold up a financial institution.
He had a bold plan. No disguise – just a hat and dark clothes – he would just walk into a local bank, inform the tellers he had a gun, demand the money from the cash drawers and then leave.
So, at approximately 11:30 am, on Friday, Oct.4, Bumpous walked through the front doors of Citizens State Bank in Groveton and robbed it. He allegedly walked out of the bank with more than $7,000 in cash stuffed into gray Walmart bags.
According to an arrest affidavit, Bumpous left the bank, ditched his clothes and worked his way through the backroads of East Texas before he wound up at his wedding venue, Cochino Lodge, outside of Kennard.
The affidavit indicated Bumpous paid the staff over $2,500 to help cover the cost of the wedding.
“Then,” Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said in a social media post, “his fiancée, who he was supposed to marry tomorrow (Saturday, Oct.5), was able to get him on the phone. She saw our post on Facebook. She knew it was him, contacted him and asked if he had robbed a bank.”
Wallace explained Bumpous denied it at first but after several minutes of denials, his fiancée finally convinced Bumpous to turn himself in.
“He went to the Houston County Courthouse where he turned himself into a Houston County deputy. Myself and Ranger (Christopher) Cash, with the Texas Rangers, went to Crockett and interviewed him. He gave us a full confession,” Wallace stated on a Facebook Live feed.
The sheriff said the clothes Bumpous threw out of his vehicle had been recovered along with most of the money. In addition, when the vehicle Bumpous used to make his getaway was searched a gun was located
“In the interview, he basically stated he was getting married tomorrow, he didn’t have enough money for the wedding ring he wanted to buy and he needed to pay for the wedding venue. Apparently, that was what the money was for. Anyway, he is now in custody and is being charged with aggravated robbery,” Wallace said.
Bumpous is being held at the Trinity County Jail on one count of aggravated robbery, a first degree felony. His bond has been set at $300,000.
According to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
The wedding, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, did not take place. No plans to re-schedule have been announced.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.