Skip to main content
Press Release

Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery of Columbia Hotel

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An Oklahoma man pleaded guilty in federal court today to the armed robbery of a hotel in Columbia, Mo., on May 31, 2017.

Darrell Eugene Black, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to one count of robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possessing a stolen firearm.

By pleading guilty today, Black admitted that he brandished a Springfield 9mm handgun when he robbed the Staybridge Suites Hotel, 805 Keene Street, Columbia, Mo., on May 31, 2017. Black entered the hotel at approximately 1:50 a.m., pointed his pistol at the clerk, jumped over the counter and demanded money. The clerk opened the desk drawer and Black took approximately $200. Black told the clerk that if she did not open the hotel safe, he would shoot her. The clerk told him that only the manager had the key to open the safe. Black got upset and told the clerk to put her hands behind her back. He disconnected the phone cord and unsuccessfully tried to tie the clerk’s hands behind her back. Then he told the clerk to lie on the ground. When Black finished searching the hotel front desk area for items to steal, he told the clerk to face the wall and not move. Black left and the clerk faced the wall for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until her feet became numb, and then called the police. The clerk’s cellphone and purse were missing.

Black was spotted by a Jefferson City, Mo., police officer later the same day. Black fled on foot but was apprehended by the officer. At the time of his arrest, Black was carrying a black bag that contained the handgun, marijuana, an ecstasy pill, and a magazine with five rounds of 9mm ammunition. As the officer was handcuffing Black, a woman ran up, grabbed the black bag and ran away. Officers were able to apprehend the woman and retrieve the bag.

Under federal statutes, Black is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department and the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department.

Updated October 16, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime