Society

Judge Gives Bank Robber A Job Instead Of Jail Time

| by Mackenzie Fleming
David Potchen.David Potchen.

An Indiana ex-convict robbed a bank in June after deciding life in prison was more appealing than living on the streets. Following his release from prison after serving a sentence for a similar crime, 53-year-old David Potchen, found it more difficult to get a job on the outside than his life behind bars.

While serving out a sentence from his first bank robbery in 2001, Potchen worked for prison wages and was able to earn money to buy his own food and clothes. During the five years of probation he served for the 30-year sentence, Potchen worked an $11-an-hour job at Stanrail Corp. before being laid off in March.

Although with 20 years of experience as a welder and after applying for jobs at several other companies, Potchen was unsuccessful with finding a new job because of his criminal record.

According to NBC News, after no longer being able to afford his rented motel room, Potchen walked 12 miles from the motel to Merrillville, Indiana, where he spent a night in the woods. There, without a job or any money, he decided to rob a bank.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

“Once I ran out of money, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing everything again,” Potchen said, reported the Post-Tribune.

On June 6, Potchen walked into the Chase Bank in Merrilville and handed the teller a note written on the back of his last resume demanding, “Give me all your cash in fives and tens.” Potchen then left with $1,600 in his back pocket and waited for the police outside the bank.

Potchen later told Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray he committed the crime so he would be arrested. Potchen wanted to go back to prison so he could work and support himself, reported Inquisitr.

Murray had something different in mind.

“You’re not a throwaway, Mr. Potchen. You have value, sir,” the judge told him. Instead of sentencing him to prison, Murray found the ex-convict a job as a welder with a local trucking company. According to the company, Potchen now works there full time.

Sources: Inquisitr, NBC News, Post-Tribune

Photo Credit: Screenshot via Inquisitr