Bank robber sentenced to 78 months in federal prison

Matthew Lane • Mar 7, 2020 at 1:30 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man who robbed a bank and a credit union of a few thousand dollars in October 2018 has been sentenced on federal robbery charges.

Jerry Anthony Bowman was indicted in U.S. District Court in Greeneville in November 2018, charged with two counts of bank robbery and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. He agreed to plead guilty to all three charges in April of last year.

According to court documents, Bowman was sentenced last week to 78 months in federal prison — 18 months on the two robbery charges and 60 months on the firearms charge. Following the prison term, Bowman will be on supervised release for five years.


Here’s a timeline of Bowman’s criminal activity, according to the plea agreement:

— On an afternoon in October 2018, Bowman entered the Carter County Bank on Milligan Highway, brandished a pistol and demanded cash from one of the tellers.

— The teller gave Bowman some cash and then he left the bank. Court records state he drove away in a blue Ford Fusion.

— Later that evening, police stopped a blue Ford Fusion matching the description of the one used in the robbery, and found a woman behind the wheel. The woman told officers that she lived with Bowman and that he admitted to her that he robbed the bank.

— Officers went to the couple’s Shelby Avenue residence and took Bowman into custody. During a search, police found a .45-caliber pistol and $2,488 in cash, including a $20 “bait” bill from Carter County Bank.


While the officers were questing Bowman about the Carter County Bank robbery, Bowman also admitted to a second robbery — one that took place in September 2018 at the Select Seven Credit Union in downtown Johnson City.

According to the plea agreement, Bowman went to Numan’s Cafe and Sports Bar on the day of robbery, went to the bathroom and retrieved clothing from a backpack he was carrying. Bowman then walked to a nearby convenience store on Roan Street and put on a dress shirt, hat and sunglasses.

Prosecutors say Bowman then walked to the credit union with a toy gun in his waistband. He then robbed the credit union and put stacks of money inside his shirt. Afterward, Bowman disposed of the clothes he was wearing and returned to Numan’s and drank a beer.

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