by peter e. bortner

POTTSVILLE - Kevin E. Smith, whom state police allege robbed two banks in June in western Schuylkill County, asked a judge Friday morning to lower his $1.25 million straight cash bail, saying he would live with his girlfriend, help take care of their children and look for work.

"I'd never run," Smith, 28, of Harrisburg, told Judge Jacqueline L. Russell.

Prosecutors opposed Smith's request, saying they have a strong case against him.

Russell did not immediately rule on Smith's request to cut his bail to $50,000 percentage, which would require him to post $5,000 in order to go free pending further court proceedings. As of Friday afternoon, she still had not ruled on Smith's request.

Smith faces two counts each of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property and one of knowledge that property is proceeds of illegal acts.

State police at Schuylkill Haven filed both sets of charges against Smith.

In the first case, they allege Smith robbed Miners Bank, 29 E. Main St., Tremont, on June 6. Police said Smith got away with $6,719.99 from Miners Bank.

In the second case, police charge Smith with robbing Halifax National Bank, 920 E. Wiconisco Ave., Tower City, on June 29. According to police, Smith stole $13,414.21.