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Christmas Eve bank robber sentenced to 78 months

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 28th, 2012

Phoenix — During a 45-minute sentencing hearing Monday in Phoenix, a federal judge ordered 49-year-old Troy K. Miller of Globe to serve 78 months in prison for armed robbery of the Bank of the West on the Globe-Miami highway during Christmas Eve of last year. U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake also ordered Miller, while in custody of Bureau of Prisons, to be in a drug rehab program.

Miller’s defense attorney, Elizabeth Kruscheck, requested the 6 1/2 years in prison for her client, which was at the lower end of a prison sentence scale listed in his plea agreement.

She contended her client had a past criminal record and a long history of drug abuse because of an unfortunate path in is life had no plans of harming anyone during the local bank robbery.

Miller told Judge  Wake he commited the Globe bank robbery on Dec. 24, 2011, because he was on drugs that Christmas Eve, had no money to buy gifts and the decision was made. “I was stupid and desperate and never had any intentions to hurt anybody.  The drugs got a hold of me and I was desperate.”

The local man said the weapons he used, a gun he held and an alleged bomb he placed on a counter inside the bank, were not real. During the robbery, $11,212 was taken from the Bank of the West of which some $2,000 was recovered.

However, Alison Bachus, who has been prosecuting this case for the U.S. Attorney of Arizona had urged judge Wake to give Miller a much longer prison term. “There were were two people on the other side of the tellers’ cage who were traumatized during this robbery and their lives have been changed for ever. Both of these employees believed the weapons shown to them were real,” she remarked.

Judge Wake, looking straight at Miller, said “If you actually had hurt anyone physically (during this robbery), you would be spending the rest of your life in prison.”

The final amount of restitution that Miller will be ordered to pay has not been finalized. A federal probation officer was to be in Globe this week to interview both bank tellers about last year’s robbery.    

A hearing over claimed restitution for the crime victims has now been set for Feb. 11, 2013 at 3 p.m. in courtroom 304 of the federal courthouse in Phoenix. The judge ordered the attorneys to exchange all documentation concerning restitution to be be completed by Jan. 18, 2013. Miller is still in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office and has been since his arrest early last year.

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