fulton man pleads guilty to bank robbery
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Fulton, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to robbing Sun Security Bank in Weaubleau, Mo.
Edward Lee Cooke, 59, of Fulton, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to the charge contained in a June 23, 2011, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty today, Cooke admitted that he stole $7,847 from Sun Security Bank on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. According to court documents, Cooke entered the bank, 404 E. Hwy. 54, in Weaubleau, at approximately 8:41 a.m. Cooke walked toward two employees, who were seated at a desk in the bank’s lobby, and said, “This is a robbery.” The employees were stunned and did not react quickly; Cooke placed his hand on the back of her shoulder and said, “move it.” The employees noticed that Cooke was holding one of his hands inside his jacket, and they believed that he may have been armed, although no gun was ever recovered.
One of the employees handed Cooke a bag with cash from two of the bank’s teller drawers. Cooke walked to the doors of the bank, said, “Have a nice day, ladies, and sorry for the inconvenience,” and left the bank.
A deputy of the Hickory County Sheriff’s Department, who was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when he received information about the bank robbery, saw Cooke walking out of a wooded area and ordered him to the ground at gunpoint.
Under federal statutes, Cooke is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Miller. It was investigated by the FBI and the Hickory County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.