BEATRICE – Calling it “a crime of desperation”, a Gage County District Judge delayed sentencing today for a man convicted of attempted robbery, in a hold-up last year of Great Western Bank, in Beatrice.
54-year-old Terry Bailes, who was homeless, walked into the bank, was given $10, and was arrested about a block away by Beatrice Police, unarmed. He and his attorney said Bailes committed the act in order to get health care for a medical condition that prevents him from working. Judge Rick Schreiner noted Bailes had not committed a criminal violation in the past twelve years and is not a violent person.
:10 “your health care”
Prior to sentencing, a voluntary support letter from a woman who lives in Missouri, expressed a willingness to provide support for Bailes, who worked for six years at a Kansas manufacturer before a medical condition with his hand prevented him from working.
A plea agreement had recommended a prison term of between 5 and 10 years. Bailes asked to be sent to prison, not given probation. His attorney, Gage County Public Defender Lee Timan said it was a sad situation for everyone involved.
:29 “homeless, unemployed”
During the incident, Timan said there was no violence, and that Bailes had told bank personnel to call police, because he wanted to go to prison.
Bailes told the judge he can’t get disability nor medical care. He felt he could get medical care, in prison.
:08 “get medical care”
The judge, questioning Bailes, noted the defendant had considered the option of taking his own life.
:21 “you left”
The judge said the record indicated Bailes’ parents divorced when he was 12, and that he’s been out on his own since age 14.
Schreiner said bank robbers go to prison, because they want money. But, in this case, the motivation was a basic need…medical care. The judge said he doesn’t believe prison is “for the poor and homeless”, and that Bailes appears to be a proper candidate for probation under the facts of the case.
:27 “this duty”
The judge delayed sentencing to allow Bailes and his attorney to contact the woman who submitted the voluntary letter of support, and establish a plan where he could be on probation.
A new sentencing date of April 4th, has been scheduled.