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Local men guilty in robberies

| Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005

A Connellsville man has pleaded guilty to participating in one of a series of bank robberies in three states.

Robert W. Hay Jr., 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting the 2003 robbery of the BB&T Bank in downtown Morgantown, W.Va. FBI Special Agent Michael Koche said Hay's role was confined to that robbery.

Another Connellsville man, Cecil D. Barnhart, 50, has admitted responsibility for the Morgantown bank robbery, as well as robberies of the M&T Bank in Lavale, Md., on July 29, 2003; the BB&T Bank in Keyser on Aug. 8, 2003; the First National Bank in Meadville on Aug. 20, 2003; the United Bank in Wheeling, W.Va., on Aug. 29, 2003; the Sept. 11, 2003, robbery of the Washington Federal Savings Bank in McMurray and the robbery of the Progressive Bank in Wheeling on Sept. 18, 2003.

Barnhart in February was sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison. Barnhart also must pay about $68,500 restitution.

Two other men were also implicated for the robberies. James E. King III was sentenced to nine years, two months in prison for his role, and ordered to pay back about $59,000, and Kenneth I. Francy was sentenced to two years, 11 months in prison.

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