Florida man admits to robbing bank in Plainwell

Allegan County
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has pleaded guilty to robbing a bank last month, causing an evacuation in downtown Plainwell after claiming he had a bomb.

Paul Donnelly, 51, entered his plea to a count of armed bank robbery in federal court in Grand Rapids Monday.

When he robbed the PNC Bank branch in Plainwell on June 14, making off with $4,700, Donnelly gave a teller a note that said he had a bomb. Authorities cleared several nearby buildings while they investigated a backpack he left behind, eventually discovering it contained only clothes.

Early the next day, Donnelly was found walking along US-131 near Martin and arrested. Authorities say he was drunk when they took him into custody, with a blood alcohol content level of .24.

He is from Florida but has family in West Michigan. Family members told 24 Hour News 8 he struggled with alcoholism and a reoccurring brain tumor, and that he was recently fired from his job at a Key West newspaper.

He faces up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, in addition to fees and restitution. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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