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April 24, 2013

Twelve Mile bank robber sentenced

Ridenour to undergo 20 years’ purposeful incarceration.

LOGANSPORT — A 66-year-old Logansport man was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in the Indiana Department of Correction Tuesday for robbing a Twelve Mile bank.

Michael Ridenour received the sentence Tuesday after he had pleaded guilty to robbing Community State Bank on Nov. 2, 2011, and holding bank tellers at gunpoint. Cass Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer handed down a 20-year purposeful incarceration sentence, meaning that Ridenour will undergo therapy and counseling for drug addiction in the IDOC for up to 20 years, but could be released into another program before then.

At his sentencing hearing Tuesday, Ridenour took the stand and said he did not know why he had committed the crime.

“Mentally, it was not me,” Ridenour said.

Ridenour’s attorney, Pat Roberts, said he had also asked his client several times why he had robbed the bank, but could not get an answer.

He said he had been on several medications at the time for various ailments, but could not think of why he would rob the bank across the street from a property he owned.

“Everything happens for a reason, but I can’t figure this one out,” Ridenour said.

Ridenour admitted during the hearing that he had put on a Halloween mask and brandished a weapon, while demanding money from the bank tellers. Police records state that he collected $3,267.

Ridenour pleaded guilty in January to armed robbery, a class B felony, which carries a sentence of six to 20 years in prison.

In exchange for the plea, Swaim agreed to drop the charges of criminal confinement armed with a deadly weapon, a class B felony, theft, a class D felony, and pointing a firearm at another person (firearm unloaded), a class A misdemeanor.

Ridenour said Tuesday that he had gone to the bank earlier in the morning of Nov. 2, 2011, to talk to the bank tellers. But Ridenour said he was not planning to rob the bank.

“Even then, I had no intentions of robbing the bank,” Ridenour said.

A bank teller from the time of the robbery testified at Tuesday’s hearing that Ridenour’s robbery is still causing her to have anxiety attacks and flashbacks to the day of the robbery.

Due to the emotional harm to the victims and Ridenour’s lack of understanding about the crime, Cass County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim argued for an aggravated sentence of 20 years in prison.

“We can’t predict his behavior and that’s the scariest thing” Swaim said.

Maughmer had ordered Ridenour to undergo psychiatric evaluation at the Indiana Department of Corrections before the sentencing, but the prison was unable to do the evaluation, Maughmer said.

Roberts argued instead for a six-year sentence — three years in prison and three on in-home detention — so that Ridenour would be able to take care of some medical issues.

He said that though Ridenour had committed a crime, he believed his client wasn’t a violent person.

“I don’t think anybody needs to look over their shoulder and be afraid of Mike,” Roberts said.

Ridenour was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years of purposeful incarceration. Maughmer said that sentence will allow the IDOC to help Ridenour undergo psychological evaluation. However, if the IDOC later determines that Ridenour would be better placed in programs like in-home detention or probation, he could complete portions of his sentence there.

In an interview, Roberts said he didn’t understand why Ridenour was entered into a program that is usually administered to drug addicts.

“I’m just a little bit unsure at the present time as to why the judge entered it in this one,” Roberts said.  

Roberts said he and his client will discuss whether or not to file an appeal.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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