Mr. Potato Head Asks To Hold Off Court Date

The man accused of robbing three banks in Preston Hollow and Park Cities has asked to delay his day in court.

John Thomas Rutledge, 55, allegedly admitted to robbing six banks and is charged with robbing Oakwood Bank at Preston Center on Sept. 30, Legacy Bank at Preston and Royal on Oct. 17, and Bank of America at Preston Center on Oct. 30.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation unofficially nicknamed him “Mr. Potato Head” because he used disguises like fake noses and beards.

He was apprehended on Oct. 30 while allegedly attempting to change out his license plate after robbing the Bank of America.

Rutledge’s case was originally set for trial on Jan. 28. In his motion, filed by assistant federal public defender Erin Berman, Rutledge asked for a continuance so he “can make an informed decision on whether to plead guilty or proceed to trial.”

The motion for a 90-day continuance was filed on Jan. 7, and on Jan. 9, U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay set a new trial date for May 27.

Rutledge has been held in the Kaufman County jail as a federal prisoner since Nov. 1.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at

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