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Ramsey bank robber gets 20 years

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

About two months after pleading guilty to the robbery of First National Bank in Ramsey last November, a Springfield man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jason M. Echols, 33, was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Benton.

Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said that the 20-year sentence will run consecutively with an 11-month sentence imposed in federal court for violating the terms of supervised release in that district.

Court documents state that on Nov. 16 of last year, Echols approached a teller at First National Bank in Ramsey and demanded money. The teller complied, fearing that Echols had a weapon.

Court records state that Echols placed the money in a bag he was wearing under a hooded sweatshirt.

He then approached a second teller and demanded additional money. He allegedly threatened to shoot and kill the teller if she gave him a dye pack.

Echols allegedly fled from the bank after the second teller complied with his demands, got in a vehicle and left the scene. Witnesses alerted police to Echols’s manner and the direction of his escape, and he was apprehended south of Pana.

According to Cox, evidence supporting the prosecution of Echols was obtained through an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Ramsey Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kit R. Morrissey.