Town Creek man sentenced in bank robberies

·2 min read

Jul. 6—A Town Creek man was sentenced to 154 months in prison for his role in robbing two Lowndes County banks during 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montgomery.

Bennie Ray Carpenter, 42, was sentenced Thursday, according to U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart. On Friday, co-defendant Hunter Lee McPherson, 21, of Greenville received a 130-month sentence.

Both men were ordered to serve three years of supervised release after their prison terms and to pay $9,918 in restitution to the banks. There is no parole in the federal system, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to court records, on Feb. 28, 2020, Carpenter entered the BancorpSouth Bank in Hayneville wearing black clothing, including a ski mask and ski goggles, and carrying an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle. He approached the counter and demanded money from the teller, who complied and gave him cash from the drawer. Carpenter then left the bank and got into an awaiting vehicle driven by McPherson. They then drove away. Three days later, Carpenter robbed the First Citizens Bank in Fort Deposit in similar fashion using the same type of firearm, with McPherson again serving as the getaway driver, the records showed.

Law enforcement agencies reviewed video surveillance provided by each of the banks and determined the suspects were the same in each of the two bank robberies. They also discovered that stolen vehicles were used in both robberies and burned afterward, according to the news release.

A federal grand jury on Oct. 27 indicted Carpenter and McPherson for robbing the two banks and for using a firearm in connection with the bank robberies. They pleaded guilty to the three charges four months ago.

Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bates prosecuted the case.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

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