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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


SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SECOND DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH KILLING SECURITY GUARD

DURING ARMED BANK ROBBERY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two St. Louis, Mo., men were indicted by a federal grand jury today for killing security guard Dwight Mayhugh, Sr., during an armed bank robbery.


            Iralee E. French, Jr., 21, and Thirplus Moose, 21, both of St. Louis, were charged in a nine-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint filed against French, who is formerly from Kansas City, on Aug. 28, 2008.


            Today’s indictment alleges that French and Moose participated in a conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and to use a firearm in a crime of violence in connection with two attempts to rob United Missouri Bank. During a second armed robbery attempt at the bank on Feb. 24, 2006, they allegedly killed security guard Dwight W. Mayhugh, Sr. In addition to the conspiracy charge, French and Moose are each charged with committing murder during the commission of a bank robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, armed bank robbery, three counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and two counts of carjacking.


            The federal indictment alleges that French and Moose used a shotgun to rob United Missouri Bank, 7901 Wornall Road, on Feb. 9, 2006. During that robbery, they allegedly stole an automobile owned by a bank employee. The specific charges of armed bank robbery, carjacking and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence are related to that incident.


            According to the indictment, French and Moose returned to the bank on Feb. 24, 2006. Using a shotgun, the indictment says, they confronted Mayhugh in the bank’s parking lot and shot him in the neck and upper torso. They allegedly forced Mayhugh to unlock an exterior door of the bank, then stole Mayhugh’s automobile and drove it away from the parking lot. Mayhugh was transported to a hospital for treatment, but died from his gunshot wounds the next day on Feb. 25, 2006. The specific charges of committing murder during the commission of a bank robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence are related to that incident.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt J. Whitworth and Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


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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