Bank-Robbing Brothers Survive Shootout with the FBI, Will Spend Quarter Century in Prison

It may have been that Johnny Charles Butler and James Robert Cleveland Butler hoped to etch their names in bank-robbing history by going out in a Bonnie and Clyde-style shower of bullets in August 2012. Perhaps the two brothers simply overestimated their chances against a professionally trained FBI SWAT team.

Whatever the thinking behind it, Johnny's decision to open fire on the officers encircling the brothers' Quinlan home was a bad one, with Johnny taking a bullet to the shoulder and both brothers winding up in federal custody.

The gunfight with federal agents was only the latest in a string of bad decisions by the brothers. On November 25, 2011, they briefly took over the Bank of America on Highway 80 in Forney at gunpoint. Six months later, they did the exact same thing at the exact same bank, holding the customers and employees hostage while they collected $27,000 in cash. It's safe to assume that whatever life choices precipitated their criminal career were also terrible.

They have already suffered some consequences. For Johnny, 46, it was the bullet to the shoulder. For James, 44, it was being saddled with four names.

But that was a mere preview. This afternoon, the brothers were sentenced to 35 years and 25 years, respectively, after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery. Johnny's additional decade stems from the shots he fired at the FBI.

Here's hoping that's enough to quench their thirst for bank-robbing martyrdom.

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