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Three Masked Men Order Churchgoers To Hand Over Money, Valuables

December 22, 1986

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) _ Three masked men held up about 40 worshipers at a rural church and robbed them of an undetermined amount of cash and valuables, authorities said today.

The men were armed with a .38-caliber revolver, sawed-off shotgun and a baseball bat and wore ski masks and stockings over their heads, said Jerry Brown, dispatcher for the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department.

The men entered King’s Chapel in rural Rutherford County eight miles northeast of Murfreesboro about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and fled in a dark-colored Chevrolet Impala after the holdup, he said.

″They took their (the worshipers’) money, their purses, their valuables, their keys to their cars,″ Brown said. ″There was no phone at the church, so they had to go to a neighbor nearby, and by the time they called, they were gone.″

Two women churchgoers, Elizabeth Batey, 58, and Minnie Jones, 80, suffered chest pains and were taken to Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, said emergency room nurse Cathryn Driver.

Ms. Batey was admitted in satisfactory condition and Ms. Jones was released, the officials said.

No other injuries were reported, Brown said.

Sheriff’s investigators had not yet estimated the amount of cash and valuables taken, Brown said.

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