Crime

Wife of accused Lakewood bank robber raising money for her family

Up until at least the time she was arrested, a Parkland woman accused of helping her husband in a failed bank robbery was trying to raise money to help her family.

Brittney Winston, 26, hardly kept a low profile while on the run after allegedly being the getaway driver in Monday’s attempted holdup at a Bank of America branch in the 9500 block of Bridgeport Way Southwest.

She launched the campaign on Fundly.com, contending her husband was a victim of racial profiling and was at the bank he’s accused of robbing only to open an account.

Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday charged Winston and her husband, Michael David Winston II, 27, with attempted first-degree robbery.

Brittney Winston was arrested Thursday at her home, police said. She is expected to appear in court Friday (Sept. 19) to be arraigned on a charge of attempted first-degree robbery.

Her husband remains in the hospital after being shot five times in the head, torso and leg by an armored car guard who told police he acted in self-defense after Michael Winston pointed a gun at him and demanded money.

Michael Winston allegedly stumbled to a getaway car the police say was driven by his wife. He was dropped off about 30 minutes later at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

He expected to survive and is being guarded by officers until he can be booked in the Pierce County Jail.

Police said the guard noticed Michael Winston acting suspiciously outside the bank before entering the foyer in sunglasses, a fake beard, hat, gloves and a dark sweatshirt.

Prosecutors note that it was above 80 degrees Monday.

The guard fired seven times after Michael Winston allegedly pulled a gun on him.

Outside the bank detectives found a bloodied fake beard and a single glove.

The getaway car, which had been stolen at gunpoint last month, later was found abandoned in a Parkland church parking lot less than a half mile from the Winstons’ home.

Beneath the passenger seat was a loaded handgun covered in blood. A glove matching the one found outside the bank was found in a Dumpster near the abandoned vehicle.

On the Fundly site, Brittney Winston calls the shooting “racial profiling and attempted murder.”

“He was there to open an account, he is an Army vet and he carried a firearm he likely forgot it was on him and when an armored car guard saw it he opened fire on my husband,” she wrote.

Brittney Winston accused police of lying and trying to destroy her family, which includes a 2-year-old girl and a 2-month-old child.

As of Thursday night, the site showed four donors who contributed $110.

Detectives said they spoke to Brittney Winston on the phone and she acknowledged seeing her husband on the news in surveillance footage from the attempted robbery, according to charging papers.

On Tuesday, detectives searched the couple’s home and found a letter signed by Brittney Winston contending the couple went to the bank only to transfer money.

She denied her husband was wearing a disguise and said she didn’t see what happened but heard several shots before her husband came back to the car.

She said she drove him to the hospital before going home to get their children, court records indicate.

“She states her husband was not a bank robber and she was not a getaway driver,” according to charging papers.

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