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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fulton Man Sentenced for Bank Robbery, Admits Robbing Five Banks


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Fulton, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for bank robbery after admitting that he had robbed banks in Sedalia, Chillicothe, Cuba, Moberly and Rolla, Mo.

John David Farnell, 61, of Fulton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. This sentence will be served concurrently with a federal prison sentence of 13 years and six months in a separate bank robbery case that was prosecuted in the Eastern District of Missouri.

On Jan. 7, 2013 Farnell pleaded guilty to stealing $11,540 from Excel Bank in Sedalia, Mo., on Aug. 10, 2009. Farnell entered the bank carrying a green gym bag in his left hand and immediately approached a teller. He set the bag on the counter, retrieved a black handgun that had a long barrel and wooden grip, pointed it at the teller and instructed her not to make a sound. He told the teller to give him twenties, fifties and hundreds. The teller pulled the bills out of her drawer and put them on the counter. Farnell instructed the teller not to make a sound or move again, and then walked down to another window.

Farnell approached a second teller counter. He again placed the bag on the counter, displayed the gun, and stated, “I want all your tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds.” The second teller gave him all the loose bills, and Farnell asked, “Is that all?” The second teller responded, “No, I’m sorry,” and gave him the bundled tens and the twenties. Farnell exited the bank through the front doors, got into a white minivan and left.

On April 29, 2010, the First Community National Bank in Cuba was robbed. At approximately 11 a.m., a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped Farnell, who was traveling in a van that matched the description of the suspect vehicle involved in the bank robbery. During a search of the van, a Ruger .357 magnum revolver was recovered, as well as U.S. currency.

Farnell admitted to law enforcement officers that he committed the robbery in Cuba and the robbery in Sedalia, as well as robbing BTC Bank in Chillicothe on Feb. 24, 2012. Farnell stated that he committed the robberies because of financial reasons, and admitted that he used the .357 magnum revolver recovered from his van during all of the robberies.

In a separate case, Farnell was sentenced in the Eastern District of Missouri on March 9, 2012, to 13 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Farnell pleaded guilty in that case to robbing First Community National Bank in Cuba, Commerce Bank in Moberly (on March 13, 2009) and Town & Country Bank in Rolla (on Dec. 18, 2009). He also pleaded guilty in that case to one count of possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the police departments of Sedalia, Chillicothe, El Dorado Springs, Rolla and Cuba, Mo.
Updated January 12, 2015