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Jury finds Tenn. man guilty after Elkmont bank robbery

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

BIRMINGHAM — Federal prosecutors got a guilty verdict and a guilty plea from the two men who robbed the Community Bank of Elkmont of $8,000 in August 2005.

On Thursday, after a three-day trial in federal court in Birmingham, a jury found Jimmy Doyal Hindman, 62, of Hixson, Tenn., guilty of two counts of bank robbery, two counts of firearm violations and one count of interstate transport of a stolen vehicle.

His accomplice, Billy Don Harvey, no age given, who is from the same area in Tennessee, had previously pleaded guilty and testified against Hindman. Harvey is awaiting sentencing.

The guilty verdict and plea also included the robbery of the DeKalb Bank of Sand Rock of $18,599 in August 2003.

In the Elkmont robbery, the duo donned masks, coveralls and straw hats and used assault-type firearms, according to the Limestone County Sheriff's Department. Two bricklayers working at the bank gave authorities a description of the men and vehicle and the direction they fled, leading the Sheriff's Department to search around Turkey Creek for the robbers.

Authorities found about $300 scattered on a trail in the woods and where the suspects ditched a stolen Chrysler on Morris Road. The robbers ditched a Camry with Tennessee tags on Turkey Creek Road.

DNA tests on masks

In one car, the suspects left behind masks, magazines for an assault-type weapon and rounds for a handgun. The FBI conducted DNA tests on the masks, which linked Hindman to the robbery.

Sheriff Mike Blakely said his investigators also traced one of the stolen cars to a mechanic's shop in Chattanooga where Hindman had worked on the car.

"Hindman is dangerous, and these convictions will make North Alabama safer," said U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin.

Hindman faces a federal prison sentence of not more than 25 years on each count of bank robbery, and not less than seven years on each count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Hindman additionally faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for interstate transport of a stolen vehicle.

"This case highlights the cooperation between federal agents in both Tennessee and Alabama, as well as local law enforcement from Limestone and DeKalb counties and local law enforcement in Tennessee," said Carmen S. Adams, FBI special agent in charge with the Birmingham Field Division. "As a result of the investigation, two violent criminals are in custody awaiting their punishment."

Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes prosecuted Hindman's case.

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