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Bank robber gets 35 years, already faces life

The Messenger-Inquirer

OWENSBORO - Seth Clayton Hooks, an Owensboro man already facing life in prison for the murder of a Trigg County man, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday for robbing a U.S. Bank branch in Owensboro and attempting to shoot a bank employee.

Hooks, 29, was initially charged with attempted murder, first-degree robbery and multiple counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in the Aug. 30, 2013, robbery. Reports say Hooks entered the bank and demanded money, then pointed a handgun at the heads of bank tellers and pulled the trigger. When the gun didn't fire, Hooks snapped the clip into the handgun and fired a round into the ceiling.

Hooks was apprehended a short time later after investigators tracked him to a parked van. Inside the van, investigators found 105 $20 bills, a .45 caliber handgun and two rocks of crack cocaine. Hooks deposited $700 for the money he received in the robbery in another bank and is believed to have spent $200 on cocaine before he was apprehended, reports say.

Hooks pleaded guilty to the robbery in late July. The attempted murder charge was amended to first-degree wanton endangerment as part of the agreement. Hooks also pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree burglary - the handgun found in Hooks' van had been stolen from a home.

The 35-year total sentence will run concurrently with the life sentence Hooks received in Trigg County after pleading guilty to the 2008 shooting death of Harvey Choat, 64, during a robbery at Choat's Trigg County home. Choat was found dead in his home of multiple gunshot wounds.

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