Judge shaves year off bank robber’s sentence
December 28, 2007
Convicted bank robber Steven Simmons is eligible for parole one year earlier after Judge Dave Gamble resentenced the 28-year-old Mammoth Lakes man Tuesday on order of the Nevada Supreme Court.
After he was convicted by a jury in January of bank robbery with a deadly weapon, Simmons was sentenced by Judge Michael Gibbons to 20 years in prison.
The Nevada Supreme Court remanded the sentencing in October, ruling that the judge placed too much weight on the defendant’s refusal to admit guilt and violated his Fifth Amendment rights.
The high court upheld the convictions but said Simmons deserved a new sentencing hearing before a different judge.
After a one-hour hearing, which included testimony from Simmons’ father and several victims, Gamble sentenced Simmons to eight years in Nevada State Prison with a minimum parole eligibility of two years.
The penalty is doubled to 16 years because Simmons used a loaded gun in commission of the crime.
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Simmons must serve five years in prison before he is eligible for parole instead of the original six. He did not testify during the trial nor admit his guilt.
Witnesses testified that a masked man burst into the Minden branch of the Bank of America near closing on Nov. 22, 2005, with a loaded 9mm Glock handgun and demanded money.
The robber got away with $4,708, which was recovered. There were no injuries during the incident.
Simmons was discovered hiding in a dog crate 45 minutes after the robbery. His DNA was found on the handgun, clothing, tennis shoes, ski goggles and backpack.
Gamble also sentenced him Tuesday to 36 months to be served concurrently for possession of a firearm with the serial number changed, altered or obliterated.
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