Old man wanted more than money in Branson bank robbery

By:  Harrison Keegan

Joseph Cyrus could barely get the words out.

He knew what he wanted to say, but he didn't want to break down in the courtroom.

Cyrus' lawyer told him it was OK. He could wait until the sentencing hearing in a few months if he wanted. But the 77-year-old Cyrus couldn't wait.

A proud man, Cyrus couldn't go another day without explaining himself.

"I wanted to be caught, your honor," Cyrus said from his wheelchair last month at the federal courthouse in Springfield. "I wanted to get some help from the United States government."

A masked Cyrus robbed the Central Bank on James Epps Road in Branson on Oct. 16, pointing what he says was a plastic BB gun at the tellers.

The reason he committed the crime, he said, was to get access to health care in the federal prison system.

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