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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bankrobber pleads guilty

Friday, July 11, 2008

John Earl Hall
Nearly two years after he robbed First Community Bank in Hardy, John Earl Hall finally had his day in court.

During his appearance in U.S. District Court in Kansas City June 30, Hall, 44, pleaded guilty to three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 29 before U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend to Lungstrum that Hall receive a sentence of 194 months in federal prison in exchange for Hall's guilty plea. Hall is also to pay restitution to the banks he robbed.

During a month long crime spree in 2006, Hall, of Kansas City, Mo., robbed four banks -- one in Hardy, two in Missouri and one in Kansas -- at gunpoint.

Just after 9:20 a.m. Aug. 8, 2006, Hall, wearing a black T-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes and a Band-Aid strip under his left eye, went into the Hardy Bank and approached a teller. He then showed the bank employee a semi-automatic handgun and then laid the gun on the counter with the barrel of the gun pointed toward the bank employee while he handed her a yellow plastic shopping bag.

Hall then pointed toward another teller and instructed the two women to give him all of their $100 bills and $50 bills. He left the bank with $3,985, according to court documents.

A week later Hall entered the Bank of Bloomsdale in Bloomsdale, Mo., around 2:44 p.m. According to information provided in the plea agreement, he approached a teller, pointed a gun at her, gave her a black plastic bag and told her "to put all the money in it, empty the drawer." The teller did what she was instructed. Hall then left the bank with $3,530.75.

Hall struck again on Aug. 24 in Adrian, Mo. He went into the Adrian Bank around 1 p.m. and approached a teller. When the teller greeted him, Hall pulled up his shirt, pulled out a small black revolver from his jeans and pointed it at her, the court document stated. He then handed her a black plastic bag. She began filling the bag with the cash and bait money from her drawer. Hall then told another teller to give him her $100 bills and $50 bills. He left the bank with $10,795, the document said.

On Sept. 6 Hall robbed First Option Bank in LaCygne, Kan. Around 1:30 p.m. Hall entered the bank. A teller went to assist him while a loan officer was in the corner of the bank counting money. The officer then turned around and saw Hall standing next to the teller near the bank vault. Hall was pointing a black pistol toward the representative and waving it toward the bank's other employees.

Hall handed the teller a black plastic bag and told the representative to fill the bag with the vault's money. He told her only to put $100 bills and $50 bills inside. After she completed the task Hall had her put the other money inside another bag. Hall then left the bank with $179,100, the agreement said.

At the time of the robberies Hall was on parole from the Missouri Department of Corrections. He had been released from a unit in Jefferson City Aug. 1 and was to take a train to Kansas City and check in at a community center Aug. 2; however, Hall never showed up.

In January 2005, Hall was convicted in Missouri of tampering, a charge similar to Arkansas' theft by receiving charge. His rap sheet also consists of an assortment of motor vehicle theft convictions from Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Florida.

Hall was identified as the suspect in the Hardy robbery through photographs taken from surveillance footage Special Agent Wendall Jines of the Arkansas State Police sent to the Missouri Department of Corrections by e-mail in late August 2006. Missouri authorities responded back just days later with the robber's identity.

Hall was tied to the other robberies the same way. All of the surveillance footage had one thing in common -- the suspect had a Band-Aid strip under his left eye in each instance. It was later learned the Band-Aid hid a teardrop tattoo under Hall's left eye.

Hall was arrested in Joplin, Mo., Nov. 8, 2006, as Lt. Geoff Jones of the Joplin Police Department investigated a call of two men who had purchased HEAT, a substance commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, at an auto parts store. At the time of his arrest Hall was in possession of a loaded handgun.

The Hardy robbery, the Adrian robbery and the LaCygne robbery were each included in this federal case. The Bloomsdale robbery was charged as a state court offense in Missouri.

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