Friday, August 6, 2010

More tragedy

Former cop given 8 years for bank robbery
JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

A former Minneapolis police officer and military veteran who served in Iraq was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for robbing an Apple Valley bank.
U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced Timothy Edward Carson, 29, of Rosemount, to 96 months in prison on one count of armed bank robbery and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Carson was indicted on Feb. 2 and pleaded guilty a month later.
Following the sentencing, United States Attorney B. Todd Jones said, "When police officers break the law, it shakes public confidence and trust in ways we cannot measure. Today's sentence makes clear that no one is above the law."
Minneapolis Police Chief Timothy J. Dolan added, "Officer Carson's actions hurt many, including his victims, family, and those of us who wear a badge. ... I hope that Tim Carson can get the help he needs to become a productive citizen."
Carson's attorney, Andrea George, had argued that at the time of the Jan. 6 robbery, Carson was under severe stress from financial problems, a deceptive wife, a sick child and nightmares about his military service in Iraq.
Carson has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder, George said, and still suffers from the aftereffects of his military service in Iraq. In one May 2004 mortar attack, he risked his life and saved several others when he ran to give first aid to injured sailors, according to a military award recommendation.
George said he told a doctor that he had hoped to die in a confrontation with police, leaving his wife to collect $250,000 in life insurance, according to George.
In papers she filed before Carson's sentencing, George asked Schiltz to give her client the minimum seven years in prison and five years of supervision, saying that Carson was subjected to "vast and intricate fabrications" by his wife, who lied about having cancer.
Carson admitted stealing $4,580 from the bank and putting lives in jeopardy by brandishing a Beretta 40-caliber, semi-automatic handgun during a Jan. 6 robbery. According to an affidavit filed in the case, a man with a handgun jumped onto the counter and pointed the gun at three tellers. He then ordered everyone to put their hands up and their heads down. He then told the tellers to give him money. Upon receiving the cash, he fled. Security cameras from a nearby Target store recorded the man getting into a parked vehicle near a vacant strip mall.
Just before the robbery, Carson was stopped by Apple Valley police about three miles from the bank. The stop was made because Carson's vehicle had no front license plate. During the stop, Carson identified himself as a Minneapolis police officer and was allowed to go on his way. Later, that same Apple Valley officer responded to the bank robbery and, while on his way to the scene, observed Carson's vehicle heading away from the bank.
According to court documents, Carson was scheduled to report to work at the Minneapolis Police Department at 9 a.m. that day but failed to arrive until 10 a.m. The Apple Valley Police Department and the FBI arrested Carson without incident later that day.

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