Ministers awaiting armed robbery trial in February

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2001

FAYETTE – Two ministers charged with the October robbery of a bank in downtown Fayette are set for trial in February, Jefferson County District Attorney Alexander Martin said Thursday.

Former Natchez minister, Jimmy E. Hargrave, 39, and Vidalia, La. minister, Barney Rankin, 44, of Fayette, were indicted earlier this month by a Jefferson County grand jury for armed robbery, Martin said.

They should have arraignments next month, Martin said.

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Originally federal officials were handling the case but Martin said it was transferred to state jurisdiction because of the crime’s location.

The two suspects were arrested for robbing more than $40,000 from United Mississippi Bank.

Hargrave allegedly entered the bank and fired one shot into the ceiling before taking the money and fleeing the scene.

He also allegedly fired one shot outside the bank in the direction of someone. No one was injured in the robbery. Rankin allegedly drove the getaway car the day of the robbery.

He was arrested in Fayette the day after the robbery and Hargrave turned himself in on that same day to a Georgia law enforcement agency.

Both suspects are out of jail on $50,000 bonds.