Friday Marks 17 Years Since Pizza Bomber Case Unfolded
Friday marks 17 years since the pizza bomber case unfolded and claimed the life of pizza delivery driver Brian Wells.
Police stopped Wells on upper Peach St. on Aug. 28, 2003 after he robbed the PNC Bank. He died after the collar bomb around his neck exploded before it could be defused.
Investigators said evidence showed the bank robbery was not committed by Wells alone. Instead, they said it was planned in advance by a group of co-conspirators, which included Kenneth Barnes, William Rothstein and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong.
The conspirators created a series of notes that provided instructions on how to complete the bank robbery and have the collar bomb that was strapped around his neck disarmed and removed.
Diehl-Armstrong was convicted in the case in 2010 and was serving a sentence of life plus 30 years. She had been suffering from cancer and died in prison in April 2017.
Barnes, who was a drug dealer, pleaded guilty in 2008 to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and using and carrying a destructive device.
He was sentenced to serve 45 years behind bars, but a judge in 2011 cut the sentence in half, reducing it to 22-and-a-half years.
Barnes passed away at the Federal Medical Center at Butner, North Carolina, in June 2019.