A federal judge sentenced two men to prison terms on Friday for their failed attempt to rob a Joplin bank eight months ago.

Sean P. LaDue, 30, and Jimmy L. Eisenhour, 37, pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Springfield to aiding and abetting in the attempted robbery Nov. 14, 2016, of the Pinnacle Bank at 1316 E. 32nd St. and to aiding and abetting use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

In separate sentencing hearings on Friday, U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough assessed LaDue a prison term of 15 years and 10 months without parole, and Eisenhour a term of 13 years without parole.

LaDue was armed with a handgun when the two Joplin men entered the bank and yelled: "This is a robbery! Get down!" He remained in the lobby of the bank while Eisenhour went behind the counter to get to the cash drawers.

The pair were thwarted when the sole customer in the bank at the time began struggling with LaDue for control of his gun and the firearm discharged several times.

No one was struck by the rounds, but the disruption of their plans caused the suspects to flee without getting any money.

Police recovered four .22-caliber shell casings and bullet fragments at the scene and clothing worn by the suspects inside an open storage shed on property near the bank.  

A tip led to the arrest of LaDue and Eisenhour two days after the failed robbery. Court records state that Eisenhour confessed to his role in the crime and identified LaDue as his accomplice.

Mandatory minimum

Sean LaDue and Jimmy Eisenhour faced a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for their convictions in federal court. 

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.