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Three Dougherty siblings to plead in Valdosta Monday

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Brothers Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26, and their sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, plan to plead Monday in the case of the Aug. 2, 2011 CertusBank robbery in Valdosta. The armed robbery involved gunfire.

Sue McKinney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Middle District of Georgia, did not elaborate on what kind of plea the three would make.

They each pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in May in Albany before a federal magistrate because one was not available in Valdosta.

The siblings were captured in Colorado, where Ryan Dougherty was sentenced to 18 years, Lee Grace Dougherty got 24 years and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty was given 32 years in prison for crimes committed in that state.

Previous report:

Three siblings known as the "Dougherty Gang" each entered not guilty pleas to federal charges in Albany Tuesday.

Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26, and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, are back in Georgia after a multi-state crime spree.

The spree took them at high speeds from shooting at a police officer in Zepherhills, Fla., to Valdosta on Aug. 2, 2011, where they shot up the CertusBank on their way to Colorado where they were captured.

The trio now faces trial on bank robbery and gunfire charges. Ryan Dougherty also faces a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff explained the accused rights and took a correction from Lee Grace Dougherty in stride.

"It is pronounced Dock-er-tee, your honor," said Lee Grace Dougherty.

In Colorado a state judge sentenced Ryan Dougherty to 18 years in prison after a guilty plea to five counts of menacing. Lee Grace Dougherty was sentenced to 24 years, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty was given 32 years.

Those sentences do not figure into the plans Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore, Middle District of Georgia has for the siblings here.

"This is basically a crime spree that went from Florida, through Georgia, then obviously out toward Colorado, and it is important, it's an important case to the people here," Moore said. "We are ready to go to trial. "I think this crime is a severe enough that consecutive time is warranted."

The first appearance was in Albany because it has a magistrate judge scheduled daily, while Valdosta does not, Moore said. The trial will be in Valdosta, he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McCullers said that if found guilty the trio faces penalties of a maximum 25 years on bank robbery and $250,000 in fines. For the firearms charges they could get anywhere from 10 years minimum to life in prison.

If found guilty as a felon in possession of firearms, Ryan Dougherty could get 10 years and another $250,000 fine, McCullers said.

The Dougherty siblings carried an AK-47 pistol rifle, a semi-automatic machine pistol and a Mauser .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun on their tear through the country.

Police said the trio headed west following the Valdosta robbery, apparently planning to eventually escape to Mexico. They made it to Colorado, where they were captured after their car rolled over during a high-speed chase.

A Colorado officer shot Lee Grace Dougherty in the knee after she pointed a gun at an officer. Dylan Stanley-Dougherty fired an assault rifle at officers.

While incarcerated in Colorado, it was reported that Dylan Dougherty attempted to escape from jail. He is in Dougherty County Jail under maximum security, a jail spokeswoman said. No information on where the other Doughertys are incarcerated was available.

Florida authorities have reported that the trio faces an assortment of charges, including attempted second-degree murder when they are extradited to their jurisdiction.