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Senior citizen with violent criminal record dating to his teens gets 8 1/2 years in prison for Brighton bank robbery

Joseph Rachal, 65, of Everett, was sentenced today to 101 months in federal prison for holding up a Brighton Center bank branch at gunpoint in 2015, the US Attorney's office reports.

In 1968, then just 17, Rachal allegedly killed a man who objected to Rachal and his pals stealing his car. Rachal agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder, had that plea thrown out, escaped, committed an armed robbery or two, agreed to a manslaughter plea and then managed to run away while on a furlough, spending nearly three years on the lam before he was recaptured.

In April, a federal jury convicted Rachal of armed bank robbery, using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Authorities say Rachal, a white guy wearing a mask designed to make him appear black, walked into the TD Bank branch around 4:50 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2015, pointed a gun at a teller and demanded money. Then he went to another teller and made the same demand, impatiently banging his gun on the counter when she appeared to tarry. Boston police officers found him nearby, crouched behind an SUV, with the $2,397 he'd stolen, a loaded gun and ammunition and a portable police scanner tuned to the Brighton district frequency.

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This brings back memories of the murder and robbery at the Jamaica Plain Tedeschi's


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