Update: Life sentence for man who robbed Monroe SunTrust and was arrested at Taco Bell

The Alcovy Circuit Court in Walton County this week sentenced convicted armed robber Don Johnston to life in prison for the Sept. 7, 2017 armed robbery of the SunTrust Bank on W Spring Street in Monroe. Johnson was arrested that same day after his photo was circulated on the Monroe Police Department Facebook page and and an employee of Goody’s saw him leave the store and head to Taco Bell, where he was arrested. Ironically, one of his identifying tattoos was one with the word SUNTRUST.

The Walton County District Attorney’s Office noted on its Facebook page that the case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief ADA Cliff Howard, Investigator Eric Yarbrough, Victim Services Director Kim Kelly, and Legal Assistant Melanie Sims.

Initial Story

A bank robbery suspect was arrested at the Taco Bell on Spring Street in Monroe a few hours after he allegedly robbed the SunTrust Bank just half a mile up the road.

Suspect in a bank robbery at SunTrust Bank in Monroe on Sept. 7, 2017. Photo credit: Monroe Police Department.

Don Wayne Johnston, 35, is currently incarcerated at Walton County Detention charged with armed robbery – robbery by intimidation, after he walked into the SunTrust Bank at 1990 West Spring St. in Monroe at about 10:40 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2017 and handed over a note demanding money. According to a press release from Monroe Police Department, the note read, “Give me the money and no one gets hurt I have a gun don’t say anything.” The teller reported he had a bulge that was believed to be a gun so she complied, handing over money until he said he was fine and left.

Monroe police and Georgia Bureau of Investigations responded and secured the area. Less than 6 hours later, police were called to the Taco Bell about half a mile down the road at 1301 West Spring St. on a report that the suspect was possibly there. He was identified and taken into custody where he was interviewed by MPD detections and GBI agents.

MPD report that Johnston had recently been released from a Federal  Prison in Louisiana and was travelling by bus to a half-way house in Savannah. He had been serving time for bank robbery. One of his many tattoos that made him easily identifiable was one bearing the word “SUNTRUST”.

“MPD’s response and capture of Johnston is an excellent example of our officers dedication to the community they serve. The FBI has been advised of the incident and will be involved going forward,” Monroe Public Safety Director Keith Glass said in a press release. “I am very  appreciative of the efforts that our Officers put forth and thankful for the assistance we got from the GBI, WCSO, FBI and the Georgia Dept of Community Supervision in bringing this incident to a quick and safe end.”

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