71-YEAR-OLD PLEAD GUILTY THEN THE ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT
By Marty Carlson
A 71-year-old man had robbed a Kansas City bank last September because he was hoping to be sentenced to prison to escape his wife. He had told the judge that he had had heart surgery that had left him depressed and unlike himself.
Lawrence John Ripple could have been sentenced up to 37 months in prison, but the prosecution and the defense attorneys both asked the court for leniency. In addition, bank vice president and the teller, whom he had scared to death, also asked for leniency.
Ripple was sentenced to six months of home confinement by judge Carlos Murguia after he agreed that there were health issues involved, there was remorse, and unlikeliness to reoffend.
After the teller had given ripple $2,924, he sat down in the bank lobby and just waited for the police. Later he had told authorities it is written out a robbery note in front of his wife and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home.
He suffered from depression after undergoing bypass heart surgery and the depression remained without treatment and evolved into extreme Irritability.
All parties agreed that the robbery was a cry for help and has since been properly diagnosed proper medication and he says that he feels like his normal self again.
So maybe it won’t be such a bad punishment after all.