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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2008

Bowling Green robbery defendant gets 12 years in Kentucky crime

BOWLING GREEN A Bowling Green man charged with robbing a bank and a check-cashing business here was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for holding up a pharmacy in Bowling Green, Ky.

Joel K. Westfall, 27, pleaded guilty in March to first-degree robbery and theft by unlawful taking of a controlled substance for the Nov. 13 holdup. Warren Circuit Court Judge Steve Wilson ordered him to prison, saying he would have to serve at least 10 years before he could be released.

Wood County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Dobson said he plans to have Westfall extradited to Ohio, where he is charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of making a terrorist threat, and one count each of arson, unlawful possession or use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, and tampering with evidence.

Westfall is accused of calling in bomb threats to Bowling Green City Schools Nov. 9, just before robbing the Huntington National Bank branch on North Main Street and leaving what appeared to be a homemade explosive device at the bank.

He also is charged with robbing the Check into Cash on South Main Street on Nov. 7.

An accomplice, Marijane Tripp, 20, is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 6 in Wood County Common Pleas Court on charges of robbery, arson, unlawful possession or use of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, and tampering with evidence.

The pair was arrested in Bowling Green, Ky., shortly after the holdup at the pharmacy.



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