Texarkana federal judge gives man 87 years for 2015 crime spree

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A man who robbed a Paris, Texas, movie theater, a DeKalb, Texas, convenience store and a Mount Vernon, Texas, bank during a spree of armed robberies in November 2015 was sentenced to more than 87 years in federal prison Friday.

Bobby Wayne Lance, 50, is likely to spend the remainder of his life behind bars. There is no parole from federal prison and good time accrues at 54 days per year if an inmate doesn’t violate prison rules.

Lance was found guilty earlier this year by a jury of multiple armed robberies, multiple counts of carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and car jacking, following a trial in the federal building in downtown Texarkana. He appeared Friday morning for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

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Schroeder sentenced Lance to 1,054 months in federal prison Friday. Federal law requires that the sentences on the weapons offenses be served consecutively to the time he received for the underlying robberies and the armed car jacking of a bank manager’s truck.

At his trial, Lance’s attorney, Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana, argued mistaken identity. But witnesses who were faced with the gun-wielding man who tried to disguise his thick, distinctive mustache with women’s nylon hose positively identified him during trial. Marked bills from the bank hold-up were found in Lance’s dryer at his home near Clarksville, Texas, in Red River County as was a pistol discovered in Lance’s house.

At Lance’s trial, witnesses testified they were terrified when the armed robber pointed a gun in their faces and demanded they quickly hand over cash. The victim of the DeKalb robbery of Carter’s Convenience Store and RV Park testified at trial that she required the assistance of paramedics after she was robbed and was never able to return to work at Carter’s.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Locker, Jonathan Ross and Robert Wells prosecuted Lance. Schroeder ordered more than $23,000 in restitution and Lance must forfeit the pistol he used to frighten and control his victims.

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