September 2, 2009

Robber sought to escape ‘abusive’ wife

A convicted bank robber told a Pennsylvania judge during his sentencing that he committed the crime so he could go to jail and escape his abusive wife.

Anthony Miller, 39, who pleaded guilty to the crime, told Judge Louis Farina of Lancaster County Court during the Monday sentencing that he held up the Ephrata National Bank in February 2007 because he was desperate to escape life with his then-wife of three years, whom he has since divorced, the Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer Journal reported Wednesday.

She was very abusive to me, Miller said at the hearing. I was scared. She threatened to commit suicide if I ever left her.

Witnesses said Miller, who was armed with a realistic-looking BB gun, repeatedly asked tellers to call police during the robbery.

Farina sentenced Miller to three to six years in prison, instead of the time served -- 31 months -- requested by defense attorney Robert Beyer. The judge said Miller needed more time in custody for counseling and evaluations.

You need enough time and supervision so we can identify what are your problems, he said.