Montgomery, Alabama – Today, Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced that two men were sentenced for their role in robbing two Lowndes County banks. On Thursday, July 1, 2021, Bennie Ray Carpenter, Jr., a 42-year-old man from Town Creek, Alabama, was sentenced to 154 months in prison. Then, on Friday, July 2, 2021, Hunter Lee McPherson, a 21-year old from Greenville, Alabama received a sentence of 130 months. Both men were also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after their prison terms are complete and to pay $9,918.00 in restitution to the banks. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court records, on February 28, 2020, Carpenter entered the BancorpSouth Bank located in Hayneville, Alabama, wearing black clothing, including a ski mask and ski goggles, and an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle. He approached the counter and demanded money from the teller, who complied and gave him cash from the drawer. Carpenter then left the bank and got into an awaiting vehicle driven by McPherson. They then drove away in great haste. A few days later, on March 2, 2020, Carpenter robbed the First Citizens Bank in Fort Deposit, Alabama, in similar fashion using the same type of firearm, with McPherson again serving as the getaway driver.
Law Enforcement reviewed video surveillance provided by each of the banks and determined the suspects were the same in each of the two bank robberies. They also discovered that stolen vehicles were used in both robberies and burned afterwards.
Carpenter and McPherson were indicted by a federal grand jury on October 27, 2020 for robbing the two banks and for using a firearm in connection with the bank robberies. They pleaded guilty to the three charges in March of this year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, and the Greenville Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bates prosecuted the case.