A close friend of Crystal R. Little, the Lexington woman charged with four bank robberies, said Monday that Little had caved in under the weight of growing financial and family problems.
"I want everyone to know that this is not Crystal Little," Melinda Belleville said. "This is not a bad person.
"I could never believe in a million years that she would become involved in something like this. But she would not or could not ask for help until it was too late."
Belleville spoke outside a courtroom at Fayette District Court, where Little received her first hearing Monday afternoon.
District Judge T. Bruce Bell directed that Little will be represented by the public defender's office, at least for now, and ordered that she remain in jail on $30,000 bond.
Little, 29, appeared via video from the Fayette County Detention Center, where she has been held since her arrest Saturday. Little told the judge that she and some friends are trying to arrange for an attorney, and Bell said the public defender's office would represent her until she can retain counsel.
Bell scheduled a hearing in the case for Aug. 8.
Little, who originally is from Albany in Clinton County, works in the University of Kentucky's Office of Research Integrity, which ensures that research projects follow approved guidelines and procedures.
Lexington police arrested Little shortly after a PNC Bank branch on Tates Creek Centre Drive was robbed about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Officers later charged her with that robbery, plus robberies at three other Lexington banks dating back to 2010. Police said that in each case, a female robber implied that she was armed and concealed her face with a pink toboggan, sunglasses and a surgical mask.