Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of a decorated Navy hero accused of robbing a Red Wing credit union and then going on the run with his young son for over a year before being caught. Mark Samples is credited with saving hundreds of lives while stationed aboard the USS Stark in 1987 after the vessel was accidentally hit by two Iraqi missiles.
The 40-year-old will be tried in federal court in St. Paul on charges of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Samples fled with his son Christopher, then 2, while awaiting trail on the robbery charges in 2002.
The two were found 15 months later in a small Ohio town. Samples claims his actions in the robbery were due to post-traumatic stress disorder. His attorney won't say if Samples will testify in his defense.