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Woman pleads guilty in robbery

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

CAPE GIRARDEAU - A Tennessee woman entered a guilty plea in connection with a bank robbery in Miner.

Phyllis Ann Hester, 48, of Obion, Tenn., pleaded guilty to one felony count of bank robbery when she appeared in federal court Friday before U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

On Nov. 20, 2003, at approximately 3:35 p.m., Hester entered the Montgomery First National Bank in Miner. According to reports, she was wearing sunglasses, a hat, flannel shirt and gloves.

Hester handed a handwritten note to a bank teller with instructions to keep her hands up where they could be seen. In the note, Hester stated she had a gun in her shirt and "if you want to go home tonight, then do as you are told." The note further directed that the teller was to fill up a bag and have the two tellers on either side of her do the same. The note further warned, "Don't push any buttons. I know where you all live."

The teller did as directed and placed approximately $17,000 into the bag. Hester then fled the bank in a white Bonneville.

Officers with the Miner Police Department observed Hester in the vicinity and placed her under arrest. Along with the stolen money, officers retrieved a .177 caliber B.B. pistol from under the driver's seat and a handwritten note.

Hester faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Sept. 28.