Lawrence John Ripple told police he robbed a Kansas City bank in September to get out of living with his wife. During sentencing Tuesday, he got the very opposite of his wish. In a rare move, a federal judge sentenced 71-year-old Ripple, who pleaded guilty to bank robbery in January, to six months of home confinement. A prosecutor and public defender had both asked for leniency, noting Ripple was suffering from undiagnosed depression at the time of the robbery, reports the Kansas City Star. After a fight with his wife, Ripple had walked into the Bank of Labor, handed a teller a note claiming he had a gun, received roughly $3,000, and then waited for police.
When police arrived, Ripple confessed, handed back the money, and was found to have nothing more on his person than a hairbrush and nail clippers, per the Star and Topeka Capital Journal. He later told police he'd decided he'd rather be in prison than at home with his wife. A public defender described the robbery as a "cry for help," and said Ripple is now remorseful and taking medication for depression. "I feel great now," Ripple said in court. "I feel like my old self." Ripple, who could've faced 37 months in prison, was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation, 50 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $227 to the bank and $100 to a crime victim fund. (Read more bank robbery stories.)