Neb. Bank Robbery Ringleader Gets Death

The ringleader of one of the deadliest bank robberies in U.S. history was sentenced to death on Friday.

A three-judge panel sentenced Jose Sandoval (search), 25, to death in the electric chair for his part in the botched robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Norfolk in September 2002.

Sandoval, Jorge Galindo and a lookout, Gabriel Rodriguez, were each found guilty of five counts of first-degree murder for the killings of four bank employees and a customer. A fourth suspect, Erick Vela, pleaded guilty.

Surveillance tapes indicate Sandoval, Galindo and Vela were in the bank for only 40 seconds, and no money was taken.

During the sentencing phase, Sandoval's defense had asked for leniency. The Madison County public defender pointed to testimony that Sandoval had a difficult childhood, a personality disorder and was under the influence of LSD (search) during the robbery attempt.

Sandoval had been convicted in November 2003, the same jury found his case merited the death penalty and a hearing before the judges was held last month.