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Johnson City man pleads guilty to federal charges in bank robberies

Matthew Lane • May 4, 2019 at 8:30 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man who robbed a bank and a credit union of a few thousand dollars last fall has agreed to plead guilty to 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.

Bowman’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, when a sentencing date will likely be set. He faces five years to life in prison.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

According to the plea agreement:

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

— The teller complied, and then Bowman 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 she lived with Bowman and that he admitted to her that he had 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 the bank that had been robbed.

ANOTHER ROBBERY

While the officers were questioning Bowman about the Carter County Bank incident, 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, putting stacks of money inside his shirt. Afterward, Bowman disposed of the clothes he was wearing, returned to Numan’s and drank a beer.

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