Texas man gets five years for 2011 bank robbery
JANESVILLE Rahn Gearhart said he was “desperate” in October when he robbed a downtown Janesville bank.
Judge Kenneth Forbeck said “boneheaded” was more accurate.
“I have had people come before me with less education, less ability and less gifts,” Forbeck said. “And they don’t blow it like you did.”
Forbeck on Friday sentenced Gearhart to five years in prison and five years extended supervision for the Oct. 17 robbery of Johnson Bank, 1 S. Main St., Janesville. The prison stay will be shortened by the 319 days Gearhart already has served at the Rock County Jail.
Johnson Bank has requested $1,975 in restitution for the robbery. Gearhart has 60 days to file a motion if he wants to dispute that amount.
According to court documents, Gearhart walked into the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash. She gave him money.
He left the bank and walked to The Gazette on North Parker Drive. He asked newspaper staff to call police. He was arrested without incident. He was not carrying a weapon.
Gearhart said he was desperate because he was down to $3 in his pocket. He had lost his job as a teacher in Texas and had come to Janesville, where his mother lives.
In his May 29 jury trial, Gearhart said he planned the robbery because he was homeless and out of money. He also said he couldn’t bring himself to seek help at a local homeless shelter or other agency.
Defense attorney Phillip Brehm on Friday argued for two to three years of probation for Gearhart. He said his client’s problem is “a failure to think through the consequences of his life.”
Brehm said the 10 months Gearhart has spent in jail have helped him recognize his actions have consequences. Gearhart agreed.
“I feel if I’m given the opportunity to do that (be supervised on parole), you will not see me in this court again,” Gearhart said.
District Attorney David O’Leary said Gearhart has not changed his ways. For example, Gearhart was defiant, condescending and manipulative towards Department of Corrections staff during interviews for his presentencing report, O’Leary said. Gearhart also showed no remorse for the crime and no recognition or empathy for the victim, O’Leary said.
Although Gearhart had no prior criminal record, “if you leap into something so serious as a bank robbery, I don’t think probation is appropriate,” O’Leary said.
Forbeck said forcing his case to trial was an example of Gearhart’s selfishness. The case was so obvious that the jury needed only the time to choose a foreman to find Gearhart guilty of robbery, Forbeck said.
“You wasted the court’s time,” Forbeck said.