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Bunch signs off on 2nd federal plea

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By Damon Lawrence

Rufena Jean Bunch has signed a plea agreement for the second time in her federal robbery case.

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The first one was signed on Nov. 4, 2013. She agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence. However, she reneged on that agreement when Knoxville attorney Bruce Poston was retained to represent her.

Bunch, 26, signed another plea agreement on March 2.

In that one she also agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting Hobbs Act robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Bunch had a plea hearing scheduled on Monday, March 24, at the federal courthouse in Knoxville.

In exchange for pleading guilty, the government agreed not to prosecute her for a robbery and carjacking at a Crossville Subway sandwich shop on Sept. 29, 2013. That term was also in the agreement she signed last November.

Bunch’s co-defendant in the case is Mark Andrew Randolph. He faces five counts of Hobbs Act robbery, five counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

In her plea agreement, Bunch admits to serving as the getaway driver for Randolph when he robbed a Knoxville Subway sandwich shop on Sept. 24, 2013.

Randolph, 35, is also accused of robbing the Rocky Top Market on Bluff Road in Kingston on Sept. 27, 2013. He and Bunch were arrested in Kingston a few days later.

Both are being held by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office while their federal cases are pending.