November 4, 2013

Walton bank robber pleads guilty, mentally ill

Sallee sentenced to department of correction, work release.

by Mitchell Kirk

---- — A Galveston man has pleaded guilty but mentally ill under the terms of a plea agreement to armed robbery for committing a robbery of the Walton branch of Salin Bank & Trust in July 2012, a press release from the Cass County Prosecutor's Office states.

Christopher Ryan Sallee, Flora, was sentenced Oct. 21 to 13 years with the first 10 years executed and the last three years suspended on probation. The 10 years of executed time will be served as six years in the Cass County Department of Correction and four years served on work release.

Sallee is required to participate in a psychological evaluation, complete recommended treatment and provide a written apology for his actions to the employees of the bank.

"The victims of the Salin Bank robbery are glad that the defendant took responsibility for his crime by pleading guilty to the charge," stated Cass County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim in the press release. "This was a very stressful event and the plea agreement and sentencing has given the victims some satisfaction and closure in this case."

Sallee was arrested shortly following the robbery July 31, 2012, after a couple who happened to be driving by spotted him entering the bank wearing a ski mask and holding a firearm. Nearly a dozen witnesses at the nearby Walton Freeze were also reported to have seen Sallee exiting the bank with a firearm and sack.

Sallee was pulled over and arrested by a Galveston Police officer near 1225 S. and U.S. 35.

An affidavit states Sallee told police he stole the money to cover his mother's medical expenses after his application for a loan at the bank was denied.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or Follow him: @PharosMAK