A Martinez man who tried to rob a bank with a fake bomb last summer was sentenced to prison Thursday.
Ted Howard Screws Jr., 45, pled guilty to armed robbery and possession of a hoax device at a sentencing hearing in Columbia County. Superior Court Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced Screws to 10 years in prison, the mandatory minimum for armed robbery, followed by five years on probation. He also must also get psychological counseling and repay about $1,000, which his attorney said she’s already got to repay outstanding funds missing from the robbery.
Authorities say Screws walked into the First Bank of Georgia on Furys Ferry Road on June 28 and handed the teller a note and a homemade device. He left the bank with nearly $5,000. He was later located and arrested. The device was a fake pipe bomb made from PVC. Screws told deputies where to find $3,750 in his home.
“Money problems,” Screws’ attorney Cecelia Toole said at the hearing explaining that economic conditions forced the close of the family construction business Screws ran. “Basically, he needed to pay the bills.”
Toole said Screws was on a drinking bender and doesn’t remember some of the incident. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center on Aug. 20 after posting a $40,000 bond, according to jail records.