Woman tied to 2017 murder case arrested in West York bank robbery

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A woman allegedly involved in a West York bank robbery Friday has been arrested, according to court documents.

Jessica Lynn Soder, 40, of York, is charged with conspiracy and robbery of a financial institution, both felonies. She is also charged with theft and receiving stolen property, both misdemeanors, according to court documents.

Soder's arrest on Saturday came after a West York Borough Police investigation into a bank robbery that happened at M&T Bank branch in the 1400 block of West Market Street the previous day.

Jessica Lynn Soder is wanted for the robbery of the M&T Bank in West York Friday.

According to police, Soder entered the bank displaying a note demanding money. She left on foot after receiving an undisclosed amount, police allege.

Responding officers apprehended Tavaris Duncan, 30, of West York, who was with Soder before and after the robbery, police said. Duncan allegedly was found with stolen currency and the note used in the robbery. 

Duncan was arraigned Saturday before Judge Thomas L. Harteis on the same charges filed against Soder. His bail was set at $50,000 and he was taken to York City Prison after he was unable to post bail, according to online court records. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for May 12 before Magisterial District Judge Thomas J. Reilly.

This isn't the first time Soder has been involved in a police case. In 2017, she testified in the murder of 44-year-old Aditya "Sunny" Anand. Soder had been dating Mark Anthony Ellis, who fatally shot the York City Exxon store clerk during a botched robbery, police said.

Tavaris Duncan

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Soder testified against Ellis, her live-in boyfriend, at his 2019 trial. She told jurors she initially lied to police and said Ellis was with her at the time Anand was gunned down. She admitted lying during two interviews before implicating Ellis in her third police interview.

That trial ended in a mistrial, but Ellis was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery during a second trial later in 2019.

In this current bank robbery case, Ellis posted unsecured bail of $20,000, meaning she did not have to turn over the money but will be liable for that amount if her bail is revoked.