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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


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


AUGUST 27, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD MAN PLEADS GUILTY

TO THREE BANK ROBBERIES


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to committing two bank robberies in Springfield and a third bank robbery in Alabama.


             Jody Lee Keller, 48, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England this afternoon to the charges contained in two separate federal indictments.


             Keller admitted that he stole $10,729 from Guaranty Bank, 1905 W. Kearney St., in Springfield, on Sept. 1, 2006. Keller used a dangerous weapon – an object that appeared to be an explosive device – to assault bank employees.


             According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Keller entered Guaranty Bank at about 9:55 a.m. on Sept. 1, 2006, wearing a black stocking cap, black sunglasses, dark-colored bandana, and a long-sleeve shirt with both sleeves partly rolled up to expose a tattoo on his right forearm. Keller displayed a hand-held device, approximately six to eight inches long, with black electrical tape wrapped around it and a watch affixed to it resembling a timer on a bomb. Keller demanded that tellers put money inside a bag, demanding $100 bills and urging the tellers to hurry, then fled the bank in a Chevrolet pick-up truck.


             Keller also admitted that he stole $8,400 from Liberty Bank, 2809 E. Sunshine St., in Springfield, on Dec. 14, 2006. Keller used a dangerous weapon – an object that appeared to be a handgun – to assault bank employees.


             According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Keller entered Liberty Bank the morning of Dec. 14, 2006, and approached a teller, pointing what appeared to be a large black semi-automatic pistol at her. During the robbery, Keller also pointed the gun at two other employees and a customer who were in the lobby as well. Keller stuffed the bag of money down the front of his pants and fled the bank on foot.



             Keller also pleaded guilty today to the charge contained in a federal indictment from the District of Alabama. Keller admitted that he stole $8,357 from Century Bank, 7875 Moffet Road, Semmes, Ala., on Dec. 20, 2006. During that robbery, Keller pointed what appeared to be a gun at a teller.


            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