Fulton man sentenced to federal prison for bank robberies

A Fulton man was sentenced in federal court Monday for robbing banks in Chillicothe, Cuba, Moberly, Rolla and Sedalia.

John Farnell, 61, was sentenced to five years and ten months in federal prison without parole, to be served concurrently with a federal prison sentence of 13 years and six months for a separate bank robbery case.

Farnell pleaded guilty on Jan. 7, 2013, to stealing $11,540 from Sedalia's Excel Bank on Aug. 10, 2009. He approached a teller with a green gym bag, which he set on the counter, then pointed a gun at her. He told the teller to give him twenties, fifties and hundreds, which she took out of her drawer and put on the counter. Farnell then moved on to the next teller, and repeated his demands. After collecting the cash, Farnell left in a white minivan.

A First Community National Bank in Cuba was robbed on April 29, 2010. A state trooper stopped Farnell, who was driving a van that matched the suspect vehicle description. A Ruger .357 magnum revolved and cash were found during a search of the van.

Farnell admitted to the Cuba and Sedalia robberies, as well as another at BTC Bank in Chillicothe on Feb. 24, 2010. He cited financial reasons as his motivation, and admitted to using the gun during all of the robberies.

The 61-year-old was also sentenced in the Eastern District of Missouri on March 9, 2012, for robbing the First Community National Bank in Cuba, Commerce Bank in Moberly on March 13, 2009, and Town & Country Bank in Rolla on Dec. 18, 2009. Farnell also pleaded guilty in that case to one count of possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.