Wheelchair-Bound Bank Robber Sentenced To Jail
Posted: 12:32 pm EDT September 9, 2009Updated: 1:16 pm EDT September 9, 2009
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The man who robbed a bank in his wheelchair, and then hid the money in his prosthetic leg, was back in court Wednesday morning. Christopher Reed entered a guilty plea and will serve time in jail.
Reed wasn't given any breaks because of his physical condition. In fact, Judge John Harris said robbing the bank and threatening to blow it up were both serious offenses. He ended up following sentencing guidelines and sent Reed to prison for three years.
Reed, 48, took responsibility for his crimes, apologizing from his wheelchair.
"I would like to say to the employees and customers … that I am very, very sorry for my actions that day," Reed said.
The paraplegic Merritt Island man drove his motorized wheelchair into Space Coast Credit Union in November 2008. With a black stick and a lighter in his hand, he told the teller he wanted $40,000 or he was going to blow the bank up.
Reed's defense attorney, though, in asking for leniency, said he never caused any panic.
"Customer actually held the door for Mr. Reed after Mr. Reed had just robbed the bank," Reed's attorney argued.
Reed was caught not far from the bank. The sheriff's helicopter was barely in the air when he was spotted nearby. Deputies found $1,300 stuffed in his prosthetic leg.
Reed lost the use of both of his legs in 1986 from a gunshot wound. One of his legs was amputated just five months before the robbery. His attorney argued he was on anti-depressants and pain medication at the time.
The judge, though, noted he faced 30 year years in prison before the plea agreement.
"These are very serious crimes that you have committed here," Judge Harris said.
The judge sentenced him to 34 months in prison and three years of probation and he isn't allowed into a Space Coast Credit Union again. His attorney tried to get a lighter sentence, questioning whether there were adequate facilities for men in Reed's condition, but Judge John Harris shot that notion down right away.