Posted on Fri, Jun. 10, 2011
Bank-robbing clown (and mom) deserves max, prosecutor says
By Peter Mucha
Inquirer Staff Writer
There's nothing funny about dressing like a clown to rob a bank, says an Eastern Pennsylvania prosecutor.
"I'm going to ask for the maximum sentence," which is 20 years, said Patricia Mulqueen, assistant district attorney for Northampton County.
Last Aug. 6, someone with a rainbow wig, a red nose, whiteface, striped socks and a riotously colored frock walked into a KNBT Bank in Bethlehem and, warning of a bomb, demanded cash.
Within a couple of hours, police found Carolyn A. Williams in a nearby park, smoking in the getaway car with clown clothes and makeup, more than $7,000, a phony bomb, two real guns, and a big excuse: Men said they'd hurt her kids if she didn't pull off the heist.
On Wednesday, Williams pled guilty, telling county court that the full story would come out at sentencing, scheduled for August.
But don't expect more tales of dangerous strangers, Mulqueen said.
"If there was credible evidence, she would not have been charged," she said.
Williams might ask for leniency on mental health grounds, but it's too late to plead insanity.
"She is guilty, and there's no excuse for what she did," Mulqueen said. "… If she had a defense she would have used it and would not have pled guilty."
Last August, a psychological evaluation of Williams was ordered by a judge.
The guns, the makeup, the outfit and a covered-up license plate indicated the robbery was planned, Mulqueen said.
Several calls to Williams' attorneys, Dwight Danser and Mark Minotti, on Thursday had not been returned as of Friday morning. In court, they mentioned bringing up mental health arguments at sentencing, and Williams told the judge about taking medications for seizures, depression and sleep problems, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
Since her arrest on first-degree felony robbery charges, Williams has been in county prison, with bail set at $500,000.
"Her husband is taking care of her children, it's my understanding," Mulqueen said.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.