Three men sentenced in robberies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Three men were sentenced to a total of 1,149 years — the maximum sentence — Wednesday in connection with the April robberies of a Pizza Hut in Vidalia and a Ferriday furniture store.

They will have no possibility of probation or parole, Assistant District Attorney Ronnie McMillan. said Wednesday morning.

&uot;These are dangerous men, and now they are where they belong — behind bars,&uot; McMillan said. &uot;I’m just glad no one got hurt (in the robberies).&uot;

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Judge Leo Boothe of Seventh Judicial District court sentenced Tony Banks of Memphis to 99 years on each of five counts of armed robbery and to 49 1/2 years on one count of attempted armed robbery.

Banks’ twin, Tyrone Banks, received the same sentence.

Boothe sentenced Antonio Hawkins to 20 years for each of three counts of attempted first-degree robbery.

A jury found the three men guilty Aug. 17 after 90 minutes of deliberation and three days of court testimony.

The Pizza Hut was robbed on April 3 and Ezy Pay Furniture was robbed the next day, both by robbers armed with machine guns.

The Banks twins, Hawkins and a fourth man, Stanton Easley of Nashville, were captured by Concordia Parish sheriff’s deputies on April 4 shortly after the Ezy Pay robbery, when their car skidded off rain-slick U.S. 84 near Vidalia.

Easley pleaded guilty and received 180 years in prison — 85 years for each of two counts of armed robbery and 10 years on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.