Mental help ordered for woman police say robbed banks with butcher knives

Brittnei Farmer
Brittnei Farmer

A Saucier woman who police say robbed two banks using butcher knives and wore a disguise has been ordered to receive mental health treatment.

Brittnei Farmer had a nervous breakdown six months ago when her boyfriend collapsed and died in front of her, a family member told the Sun Herald. She was employed as a child advocate and taught Sunday school, but became increasingly distraught after her boyfriend’s death, the relative said.

Farmer faces armed robbery charges in the Aug. 3 holdup of Hancock Bank on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs and the April 8 holdup of The Peoples Bank on 2nd Street in Saucier.

She was taken before Ocean Springs Municipal Court Judge Matthew Mestayer on Wednesday night. Mestayer reduced her $400,000 bond to $60,000 and stipulated she get mental health help, police Capt. William Jackson said.

Farmer’s father spoke on her behalf in court before Mestayer reviewed investigators’ information. Mestayer ordered a grand jury review of the case.

Taken to Harrison County

Farmer, 28, was taken to the Harrison County jail Wednesday night after the Ocean Springs hearing.

Her bond on the charge in the Saucier robbery had been set at $100,000.

A Harrison County Justice Court judge will preside over her initial appearance in the county jail courtroom unless her family posts bail before the hearing.

Video surveillance pictures from both robberies show a person holding one or two butcher knives, dressed in black and wearing sunglasses. The robber’s head was covered by a black hood or skull cap. The robber’s mouth was covered with some type of cloth in the Saucier holdup.

Farmer was arrested in a traffic stop in D’Iberville four hours after the Ocean Springs robbery. Police stopped her on Gorenflo Road.

Police have said they believe Farmer was heading to the Estates of Juan D. Cuevas, an apartment complex on Gorenflo Road.

Friend also arrested

Two days later, D’Iberville police arrested Tearria Shava Wallace, 29, who lives at the apartments. Wallace faces a charge of accessory after the fact to robbery. Police say Wallace tried to hide and destroy evidence from the Ocean Springs robbery.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson has said his investigators did not know who robbed the Saucier bank nearly four months earlier until they helped Ocean Springs police identify Farmer and viewed surveillance pictures from the other robbery.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald