Edwards' trial began Monday in federal court with testimony from her former boyfriend, who said the two teamed up to rob a south suburban bank at gunpoint while disguised in scary masks and nuns' robes reminiscent of the movie "The Town."
The ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Germel Wesley, who has already pleaded guilty to bank robbery and agreed to cooperate against Edwards, said his girlfriend came up with the idea to model the May 2011 holdup on the movie after the two watched the film together a few weeks earlier.
The bench trial, being held before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, could wrap up Tuesday. Edwards, 25, often took notes and conferred with her lawyer during testimony.
Wesley's testimony will be crucial for the prosecution case because both robbers hid their faces behind the disguises. In cross-examining the government's star witness, Edwards' lawyer questioned Wesley's reliability, saying he had repeatedly lied to authorities.
Authorities allege Edwards stole about $22,400 from a Chase Bank in Country Club Hills while working there in early 2011. She later admitted the theft and promised to pay back the funds before the end of May 2011, bank officials said.
To come up with the money, Edwards and Wesley plotted to rob a TCF Bank in Palos Heights where she had previously worked, prosecutors said.
Wesley, who is in custody, testified that Edwards chose a Sunday to rob the bank because only two employees worked on that day and the place would not be busy.
Wesley said he grabbed his mask and a BB gun before entering the bank with Edwards and jumping over a counter. He testified that he told the tellers to go to the vault.
Edwards, who was armed with a real gun, told the tellers in a deep voice to open the vault, Wesley said.
A bank teller, remaining calm on the witness stand as she recounted the holdup, testified that she and her supervisor both had guns held to their heads.
Edwards took the money from the bank's vault and stuffed the cash into a duffel bag before tying their hands with zip ties, according to testimony. Wesley then took the teller with him to the front door before the two robbers fled, the court was told.
The two escaped with $120,000, according to authorities. Wesley said he cut up the masks and burned the nun costumes in a grill. They allegedly split the money and spent it lavishly. Edwards allegedly bought a new laptop, clothes and splurged on a $500 photo shoot. She also used the money to put down a $250 deposit on an engagement ring for Wesley, prosecutors said.
During his testimony, Wesley said he and Edwards had planned to marry, have children and move out of Chicago.