Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Chad Schaffner Sentenced in Six-State Robbery Spree to 26 Life Sentences

GREENEVILLE, TN—Chad Schaffner, 39, of Indianapolis, Ind., was sentenced today, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to serve 26 life sentences in prison, with 14 of them to run consecutive to each other, for convictions of a total of 13 robberies, including 11 banks, one credit union and one retail store, and use of a firearm during these robberies. Schaffner had a criminal history that included two convictions, one in 1991 and one in 1994 for two separate robberies in the Superior Court of Marion County in Indiana. He was the subject of a nationwide manhunt in 2009.

Today’s sentencing concluded all of the robberies including the two bank robberies that occurred in east Tennessee. On August 18, 2009, Schaffner entered the Community National Bank in Jefferson City, Tenn., demanded cash from a teller and displayed a firearm. The teller gave him money which included a die pack. Approximately 40 feet from the bank the die pack exploded. Schaffner fled after discarding the bag and money.

On the same date, Schaffner entered the First Tennessee Bank in Morristown, Tenn., armed with a firearm, and demanded money from the teller. He told the teller “don’t put a die pack in the bag or I will come back and blow your head off.” The teller complied and Schaffner fled the bank with a quantity of cash.

Robberies committed in other locations include: May 7, 2009, robbery of River City Bank in Louisville, Ken.; May 15, 2009, robbery of United Services Credit Union in Fletcher, N,C,; May 28, 2009, robbery of Wachovia Bank in Forrest Acres, S.C.; June 19, 2009, robbery of First National Bank, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; July 6, 2009, robbery of Lumbee County Bank in Fayetteville, N.C.; July 15, 2009, robbery of Southern Bank in Edenton, N.C.; July 29, 2009, robbery of First Citizens Bank in Hendersonville, N.C.; August 10, 2009, robbery of First Palmetto Savings Bank in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; August 28, 2009, robbery of United Commerce Bank in Bloomington, Ind.; September 4, 2009, robbery of Kroger Retail Store in Jefferson City, Ill.; and September 9, 2009, UMB Bank of Caseyville, Ill. Schaffner brandished a firearm in each of the robberies. After a nationwide manhunt, he was arrested in Missouri where he admitted to the robberies to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Schaffner also admitted to using and brandishing two different firearms during the course of the robberies, one of which was recovered from a motel room Schaffner occupied.

Schaffner’s girlfriend, Linda Christina Davis, was sentenced on January 24, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to accessory after the fact to the two Tennessee bank robberies. She received a sentence of 27 months in prison. Davis was arrested with Schaffner in Missouri. She confessed to allowing Schaffner to use her car after the Morristown and Jefferson County robberies and to renting motel rooms in various states to allow him to avoid apprehension.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Schaffner was the result of an investigation led by the FBI in Johnson City, Tenn., assisted by numerous law enforcement agencies including the Morristown Police Department and Jefferson City Police Department in Tennessee. The Johnson City FBI coordinated with law enforcement agencies across the country to make this prosecution successful. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Reeves who was assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Murphy, Eastern District of North Carolina; Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast, Western District of North Carolina; Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger, District of South Carolina; Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Ream, Western District of Kentucky; Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Shepard, Southern District of Indiana; and, Assistant U.S. Attorney Deirdre Durborow, Southern District of Illinois.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said, “These sentences will give some comfort to the victims whose lives were forever changed by the criminal actions of Chad Schaffner. He will never be able to commit armed robbery or any other crime again. I would like to commend all of the various federal and local law enforcement agencies for their hard work, and especially the Johnson City office of the FBI which coordinated this effort.”

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