Florida man sentenced to 8 years for Asheville, Candler bank robberies

John Kershaw Barrette, 38, of Jacksonville, Florida, was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for two Buncombe County bank robberies that happened on the same day. (Photo credit: Vinelink)

A Florida man was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for two Buncombe County bank robberies that happened on the same day.

John Kershaw Barrette, 38, of Jacksonville, Florida, faced multiple charges, including two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, having a hoax bomb in a public building, possessing a stolen vehicle and resisting public officers.

According to filed court documents and Monday’s sentencing hearing, Barrette, wearing a faded red wig, entered the Asheville Savings Bank at 1012 Patton Ave., Asheville, about 11 a.m. Jan. 3, 2017. Court records show Barrette waited in line with a cellular phone to his ear, which he appeared to be using. When it was his turn to approach the teller, Barrette handed the teller a note and placed a large envelope on the counter.

The note instructed the teller to give Barrette cash in denominations of $100 and $50. The note also warned the teller that the envelope contained a bomb, which Barrette could remotely activate using his cellular phone. The note further instructed the teller to wait eight minutes before calling the police. According to court records, the teller, afraid that Barrette would activate the explosive device if she did not do as instructed, complied with Barrette’s demands.

Barrette fled with $3,250 in cash, leaving the purported bomb on the counter. Court records indicate that law enforcement determined that the device was a sham.

According to filed court documents, shortly before 1:00 p.m. on the same day, Barrette, wearing the same faded red wig, entered the PNC Bank at 1007 Smokey Park Highway, Candler. Barrette again presented the teller with an envelope that he claimed contained a bomb and demanded money from the teller. The teller complied out of fear that Barrette would detonate the bomb. After receiving $3,180.00 in cash, Barrette fled the bank, leaving on the counter the envelope containing the purported bomb, which was again determined to be a sham device. Barrette was apprehended by law enforcement shortly thereafter.

In April, Barrette pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery. He is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

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