FLORIDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN 2019 FOREST ACRES BANK ROBBERY
March 8, 2022
On Monday, March 7, 2022, a Florida man was sentenced to 29 years in prison after pleading guilty to Armed Robbery and six (6) counts of Kidnapping.
On February 5, 2019, Defendant Samuel Neathery, along with a co-defendant robbed the South Carolina Federal Credit Union in Forest Acres. Both defendants entered the bank armed and attempting to hide their identity with hoodies, glasses, and head coverings. Once inside, the defendants first corralled bank employees in the lobby area and later forced them at gunpoint to escort the defendants to the vault area. The defendants were ultimately able to get over $10,000 from a cash dispenser.
A bank employee working the drive-thru heard the commotion and saw Neathery pointing the gun at others demanding money. As a result, the employee called 911 and escaped out the back door to the business next door.
When law enforcement arrived, both defendants made their way out the front door. The co-defendant got into their vehicle while Neathery went back inside the bank and fled out the back door, wherein he made his escape through a nearby neighborhood.
The co-defendant attempted to evade police by driving off, but was detained after causing a violent car crash on Forest Drive. A large amount of money and multiple firearms were recovered from the vehicle to include a pistol stolen out of Kissimmee, Florida.
Phone records confirmed that Neathery was able to flee to the Orangeburg area before making his way out of South Carolina. Over the next seventeen days, law enforcement officers conducting a manhunt looking for Neathery until he was ultimately located and arrested at a motel in Kissimmee, Florida on February 22, 2019. The defendant was taken into custody and transported back to South Carolina where he remained incarcerated.
The co-defendant’s case is still pending.
The State was represented by Deputy Solicitor Dan Goldberg as well as Assistant Solicitors Sara Bozarth and Weston Liefer; Justice Jean Toal presided over the guilty plea.