Missouri House approves expanding bank robbery law
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A court case trying to lessen the charge for a bank robber is getting noticed in the Missouri Legislature.
The case centers on a man who robbed a New Bloomfield bank but did not make an explicit threat.
The Missouri House passed a bill Thursday that would make theft from a financial institution a class B felony punishable by five to 15 years in prison in all cases. The measure passed 133-20.
Bill sponsor Rep. Sandy Crawford, a Republican and former banker, said bank employees are traumatized even if they aren't threatened during a robbery.
The lawyer for the man who robbed the bank in New Bloomfield told the Missouri Supreme Court in February her client should be charged with stealing, which carries a lighter sentence, because the current robbery law requires a threat of force.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original format for clarity.]