Bank robbery suspects sent to state courts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 10, 2001

Saturday, November 10, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

FAYETTE – Two ministers charged with a bank robbery in downtown

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Fayette are to be transferred over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s


Jimmy E. Hargrave, 39, was in custody Friday afternoon and

was to be arraigned in Jefferson County, said Jefferson County

Sheriff Peter Walker.

Deputies were still looking for Barney Rankin, 44, late Friday

afternoon, Walker said.

&uot;We’re looking for him as we speak,&uot; Walker said.

The federal court system had been handling the case but it

was making plans to transfer prosecution over to state officials,

Assistant U.S. Attorney Woody Bond said Friday.

&uot;We have dismissed our complaint against the two of them,&uot;

Bond said.

State officials asked for permission to prosecute the case

and federal officials tend to follow such requests, Bond said.

&uot;If they want to do it we defer to them,&uot; he said.

On Oct 4, Hargrave allegedly entered the bank, fired one shot

in the air, took more than $40,000 from the bank and fled the


Rankin, the pastor of a church in Vidalia, La. allegedly acted

as the getaway driver and picked up Hargrave as he was running

from the scene.

Rankin was arrested the next day in Jefferson County and was

later released on a $20,00 bond after a hearing in federal court.

Hargrave turned himself in to law enforcement in Fulton County,

Ga., the day after the robbery.

He was recently transported back to Mississippi. A federal

hearing scheduled on his behalf this week was canceled.