An elderly Kansas man who apparently preferred living behind bars than living with his wife was sentenced to house arrest for bank robbery.
On September 2, 2016, Lawrence John Ripple, 71, handed a note to a bank teller in Kansas City that indicated he was carrying a gun and wanted money.
The teller handed over $3000 to Ripple, who then sat down in a chair in the bank lobby and waited for cops to arrive after telling a security guard that “I’m the guy you’re looking for.”
Responding cops searched him and found a hairbrush and a pair of nail clippers, but no gun.
According to the Kansas City Star, the suspect told detectives that he and his wife had been arguing, and apparently, he wanted out of the relationship. “‘Ripple wrote out his demand note in front of his wife … and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home,’ an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit filed in support of the robbery charge.”
In January of this year, he pleaded guilty to the robbery, which could have resulted in the senior being locked up for about three years.
On Tuesday, a federal judge imposed a sentence after both the prosecutor and the public defender requested leniency for the man who has no previous criminal record.
In what some might consider an ironic development, the judge sentenced Ripple to home confinement for six months, three years’ probation, and community service, the Star reported. He will also have to reimburse the bank employees for lost wages on the day of the robbery when the bank closed temporarily.
Ripple explained to the judge at the sentencing hearing that he was suffering from then-undiagnosed depression after heart bypass surgery when he committed the bank robbery, but he feels like his old self now with the help of medication. He added that prison would have posed more of a punishment for his spouse than himself.
His public defender described the robbery as a cry for help for his depression symptoms.
A remorseful Ripple also apologized to the bank, and specifically, the bank teller, who he had no intention of scaring. He and his wife, who accompanied Ripple to the sentencing hearing, are currently in counseling.
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Do you think that house arrest is an appropriate sentence for the bank robbery in this case taking all the circumstances into consideration?
[Featured Image by Alex Staroseltsev/Shutterstock]