Man claiming mental illness sentenced to prison for robbery — (The Argus Leader)

SSRI Ed note: Man on antidepressants robs a Casino at knifepoint, gets 20 years.

Original article no longer available

The Argus Leader

Matthew Gruchow, Argus Leader 

February 18, 2009

A Sioux Falls man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for robbing a casino last year, during which he claimed he was mentally ill.

Jonathan Eugene Deal, 25, was arrested in August for robbing a female casino clerk at knifepoint and escaping with cash. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree robbery, and as part of a plea agreement was not to receive more than 20 years in prison.

During sentencing, psychiatrist Dr. David Bean testified that Deal has chronic low-grade depression. Additionally, Deal’s lawyer, Jeff Larson, said that he was dealing with financial problems and was having difficulty affording his anti-depressant medication at the time of the robbery.

Deputy Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Jim Iosty argued that Deal had a 2005 conviction for robbery in Omaha and that he was responsible for better managing his medications.

Circuit Court Judge Brad Zell sentenced Deal to 20 years in prison, but suspended five of those years, making him eligible for parole in a little more than nine years.