West Tennessee man convicted of bank robberies, firearm charges

 West Tennessee man convicted of bank robberies, firearm charges

A federal jury has convicted a West Tennessee man for bank robbery and firearm charges.

After a three-day jury trial in Jackson federal court, 38-year-old Gene Allen Howell, of Selmer, was convicted of two counts of aggravated bank robbery, two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In August 2017, Howell is accused of robbing the Home Banking Company in Finger using a handgun. Howell reportedly pointed the weapon at three employees, threatening to kill them.

In October of that same year, Howell attempted to rob The Peoples Bank located in Reagan using a .45 caliber pistol. During that attempt, Howell fired a shot at a bank employee’s head, but it was deflected by the protective glass.

Howell and his co-defendant, who served as the getaway driver, were arrested 10 days later in Alcorn County, Mississippi on drug charges.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years imprisonment on the firearms charges, which will run consecutively to a sentence of up to 25 years on the bank robbery charges. There is no parole in the federal system.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2020.