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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



JANUARY 23, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED FOR BANK ROBBERY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for robbing Great Southern Bank.


             Russell Lwayne Beaird, 30, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Monday, Jan. 23, 2007, to five years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Beaird to pay $4,191 in restitution.


             On Oct. 6, 2006, Beaird pleaded guilty to the bank robbery. Co-defendant Gary Lee Graves, Jr., 31, of Nixa, Mo., pleaded guilty to the same charge on Oct. 24, 2006.


             Beaird and Graves entered the Great Southern Bank branch at 3961 S. Campbell Ave., in Springfield, at about 1 p.m. on July 20, 2006. Both Beaird and Graves had panty hose pulled over their faces during the robbery, Schlozman said, and Beaird was carrying an object that appeared to be a small handgun. Beaird and Graves jumped over the teller counter and confronted four bank employees who were behind the counter. Beaird demanded the employees give him money and pointed the object that appeared to be a handgun directly at one of the female bank employees. Beaird and Graves took money out of separate teller drawers, jumped back over the teller counter, and left the bank.


             A sentencing hearing for Graves has not yet been scheduled.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas C. Bunch. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html