Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Vian Robbery Suspect ‘Remorseful’

A 60-year-old Vian man, who changed his mind during an alleged attempt at bank robbery, is free on a $25,000 bond and awaiting formal charges in Cherokee County.

Larry Scott Speer is accused of trying to rob the Bank of Commerce in Keys on Sept. 1. According to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault, Speer entered the bank shortly after noon on Sept. 1 and asked for a loan application. He took the application and left the bank, but returned about 20 minutes later. Speer then delivered a note to a bank employee in her office, not a teller. The note read, “I need $15,000.” Speer also showed the employee a handgun hidden in his belt.

The employee and Speer talked for a moment, then Speer seemed to have a change of heart.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said, “He was saying ‘I don’t want to do this. I’m sorry.’ He took the note back and said, ‘I’m sorry. This gun’s not even real. I can’t do this.’”

Speer was later identified by law enforcement officers, and through a video taken at a Keys diner. He was arrested in Vian and jailed in Cherokee County.

He was interviewed by the FBI, since bank robbery is considered a federal crime. Chennault said Speer appeared remorseful and was cooperative. He told FBI agents he needed the money for his wife in Ghana in Africa because she was in legal trouble.

A records check showed formal charges were not filed against Speer as of Wednesday morning.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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