At a sentencing hearing in Columbia County, Ted Howard Screws Jr., 45, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and possession of a hoax device.
Superior Court Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced Screws to 10 years in prison, the minimum for armed robbery, followed by five years on probation.
The defendant also must also get psychological counseling and repay about $1,000 missing from the robbery.
Authorities say on June 28, Screws handed the teller at First Bank of Georgia on Furys Ferry Road a note and a fake pipe bomb made from PVC. He left the bank with nearly $5,000. Screws told deputies after his arrest where to find $3,750 in his home.
Screws’ attorney, Cecelia Toole, said economic conditions forced the family construction business that Screws ran to close.
“Basically, he needed to pay the bills,” she said at the hearing.
Toole said Screws was on a drinking binge 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.