A 71-year-old man who robbed a bank in Kansas City, Kan. to avoid living with his wife was sentenced to home confinement this week.
A federal judge sentenced Lawrence John Ripple to six months of home confinement; three years of supervised probation, including 50 hours of community service; and ordered him to pay $227.27 to the bank he robbed, according to the Kansas City Star.
Ripple robbed the Bank of Labor in Kansas City in September. He walked into the bank and handed a note to the bank teller that said, “I have a gun, give me money.” After the bank teller handed over $2,924, Ripple sat down in the bank lobby waiting to be arrested by police.
Court records said Ripple wrote the note in front of his wife, telling her he would rather be in jail than live at home with her.
Though Lawrence John Ripple pleaded guilty to bank robbery in January and could have spent up to 37 months in prison, his attorney and federal prosecutors asked a U.S. District Court judge for leniency. That request was supported by the vice president of the bank and the teller whom Ripple frightened, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania.
U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia sentenced Ripple on Tuesday to six months of home confinement after public defender Chekasha Ramsey and Catania cited Ripple’s health issues, remorse and unlikeliness to reoffend.
Ramsey told a judge Tuesday that before the September incident, Ripple had lived a law-abiding life. He had no criminal record, was a dutiful father to four step-children and was in a stable relationship with his wife.
He suffered from depression after undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2015, Ramsey said. The depression remained undiagnosed and manifested as irritability, so Ripple didn’t think to report his symptoms to a doctor.
Calling the robbery a “cry for help,” Ramsey said that Ripple has since been properly diagnosed, is on proper medication and feels like his normal self again.
“Ripple said that he felt better after finding the right medication and said prison would be more of a punishment for his wife than for him,” the Star reported.