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Pentecostal minister and bank robber sentenced to jail for six-and-a-half years


BOSTON (RNS) An armed Pentecostal minister who threatened tellers at five New England banks and made off with more than $13,000 before police finally caught him will spend the next six-in-a-half years behind bars.

Jerry Hayes, 53, of Hartford, Maine, received his sentence April 8 in U.S. District Court in Boston. Hayes pleaded guilty in September to five counts involving robberies at banks in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.

Hayes, a Tennessee native with a track record of starting small churches, used the stolen money to make payments on a used car and a camper where he lived without plumbing or running water, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. McNeil.