In a cinematic turn of events, accused “Hat Bandit” James Madison withdrew his plea bargain yesterday and recanted his confession to several bank robberies in a media-filled courtroom. From The Star Ledger:
…[FBI spokesman, Special Agent Sean Quinn said] “Maybe he thinks he can get a movie or book deal if he goes to trial. But his 15 minutes of fame are up.”
But as U.S. Marshals escorted him in, Madison looked to the gallery and gave a slight grin. Then he added a new twist to the tale of one of New Jersey’s most prolific — and unusual — bank robbers in recent years.
“He maintains his innocence. He is not prepared to go forward,” Donald McCauley, the assistant public defender representing Madison, told U.S. District Judge Jose Linares.
Judge Linares told attorneys to fast track the case, originally set for trial October 1.