Florida Man Convicted of Robbing Regions Bank in Columbus
Byron McCollum, age 68, of Lake Worth, Florida, was convicted, following a four-day jury trial, on March 3, 2016, for the June 2, 2015 armed robbery of Regions Bank on Veterans Parkway in Columbus, announced Acting U.S. Attorney G.F. Peterman, III. The Honorable Clay D. Land, United States District Court Judge presided over the trial in Columbus.
Testimony at trial revealed that Mr. McCollum and Michael Lee Hall entered the bank on June 2, 2015 wearing masks, hats and gloves and brandishing handguns. Mr. Hall walked into the bank’s lobby and ordered a female employee to the floor. Mr. McCollum approached the bank counter and ordered a female customer to the floor. He then displayed a handgun and demanded a bank teller open the door to allow him access behind the bank counter.
Once behind the counter, Mr. McCollum emptied currency from the cash drawers into a backpack. The pair then drove off in a red Chevrolet Camaro. Further testimony revealed that Mr. McCollum had stolen the red Chevrolet Camaro from Trophy Ford in Forsyth, Georgia prior to the bank robbery. While the pair was still in the bank parking lot, dye packs exploded inside the backpack covering the money with dye. They then abandoned the Camaro and drove from Columbus to Macon in Mr. McCollum’s gray Cadillac with Mr. Hall driving and Mr. McCollum lying in the backseat with the handgun ready in case they were stopped by law enforcement. He claimed that he would shoot the officer as he passed the back window of the vehicle should that happen.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 6, 2016 at 9:30 am in Columbus. Mr. McCollum is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In addition to the June 2015 bank robbery, Mr. McCollum committed a previous bank robbery in Columbus in 1985.
Michael Lee Hall pled guilty to bank robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence on August 3, 2015. He was sentenced by Judge Land to serve 234 months in prison on November 18, 2015 for his part in the crime. He was also ordered to pay restitution to Regions Bank. He also had a prior conviction for armed bank robbery in Columbus in 1994.
“I want to commend the officers from the local and Federal agencies who apprehended these two career bank robbers and the prosecutors whose efforts will bring those careers to an end,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Peterman.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbus Police Department, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and Pinellas County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Melvin E. Hyde, Jr. and Assistant United States Attorney Crawford Seals prosecuted the case on behalf of the Government.
Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2603.