Berryville Man Sentenced For October Bank Robbery

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Berryville man was sentenced Wednesday (July 26) to 18 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for robbing a bank last October, according to federal court documents.

Hunter Cody Chafin, 19, pleaded guilty March 8 in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith to stealing $3,350 from First National Bank of North Arkansas in Berryville.

Following his release, Chafin will be required to undergo substance abuse treatment and enroll in adult education classes to get his G.E.D.

Chafin’s attorney, James Pierce, had asked Judge P.K. Holmes III for a lenient sentence, arguing that Chafin’s “tragic childhood … permanently scarred him” and left him “ill equipped to become an independent and productive adult,” according to the documents.

Pierce noted Chafin’s mother used methamphetamine while she was pregnant and his father was a paranoid schizophrenic. Pierce also said Chafin was raised by his grandparents, who were “ill equipped to handle a child with special needs,” according to the documents.

Sentencing guidelines for Chafin’s case recommended 30 to 37 months in prison, but Pierce argued that range was “significantly longer than what is necessary to protect the public, provide deterrence and rehabilitate (Chafin).” He also noted Chafin had no criminal history.

Chafin had a friend drop him off at the bank on Oct. 14. He then slipped a note to the teller that said “$50s and $100s only! NO trouble I have a gun.” Once he had the cash, Chafin took a taxi to Bentonville, where he bought a motorcycle for $2,900, according to court documents.

Bentonville police later arrested Chafin after a traffic stop on South Walton Boulevard. Police found Chafin with $1,000 wrapped in a band that matched a band from the Berryville bank, along with his demand note.

Chafin was taken back to Carroll County, where he told investigators he’d been planning the robbery for about a week and researching online how to rob banks and not get caught, according to court documents.