The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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April 10, 2014

Grand jury indicts Miami bank robbery suspect

MIAMI, Okla. — A federal grand jury has indicted a suspect in a bank robbery attempt last year in Miami that led to a fatal crash.

An indictment handed up this week in U.S. District Court in Tulsa charges Francis H. Dishmon, 51, of Tulsa, with attempted bank robbery and killing a truck driver while attempting to avoid apprehension.

Dishmon is accused of trying to rob the IBC Bank at 2520 N. Main St. in Miami on Aug. 28. James C. Wivell, 48, of Longmont, Colo., was killed in a crash on U.S. Highway 69A north of Quapaw during the defendant’s alleged high-speed getaway.

Dishmon initially was charged in Ottawa County District Court with second-degree murder under the state’s felony murder law. The state charge was dropped when the U.S. attorney’s office in Tulsa assumed prosecution of the case in October.

The defendant has four previous convictions for bank robberies in other states. He was on parole from a federal prison when the bank robbery attempt took place in Miami.

The Justice Department reviewed the criminal complaint against Dishmon for possible application of the death penalty while his parole revocation hearing was pending. Notice that the death penalty would not be sought was filed March 17 by the U.S. attorney’s office in Tulsa.

An affidavit written by an FBI agent states that Dishmon approached a teller in the drive-through section of the bank, held up a note and told her to read it. When she said she could not read it, he told her he wanted “all 50s and 100s.” She told him she did not have any money and showed him that the drive-through window drawer was empty.

According to the affidavit, Dishmon told her to go to the back of the bank and get money, but he fled as she started to comply. Another teller reportedly saw the suspect climb into a Mazda in the parking lot of the nearby Tractor Supply store and leave at a high rate of speed.

Dishmon’s car was passing Wivell’s truck when Dishmon swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle, and his car glanced off the front of Wivell’s rig and went into a spin. Wivell reportedly swerved to avoid hitting the spinning car, and his rig overturned and slid into a guardrail. The victim was impaled on the rail as it crashed through his windshield.

Trial date

U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE JOHN DOWDELL has set Francis Dishmon’s trial for June 16, with a pretrial conference to be held May 14.

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