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Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Bank robber gets 30 months in prison

By Ed Gebert
CELINA - A 38-year-old Fort Wayne, Indiana, man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement in the Sept. 23 robbery of the Second National Bank, 800 N. Main St., Celina.
Casey Atkins was sentenced on Tuesday by Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Ingraham. Atkins after a February bench trial was found guilty of third-degree felony robbery and fifth-degree felony theft.
According to testimony during the trial, Atkins had suggested a bank robbery to his alleged accomplices as a way of repaying a drug debt.
At the sentencing hearing, Atkins apologized for his part in the robbery.
"I would like to apologize to the court for my role in this," he said. "What I did was wrong, letting them use the car and knowing that they were going to rob the bank."
He went on to explain that he had insisted upon his innocence before and during the trial because he did not understand he was guilty of robbery since he had not set foot in the bank.
"I didn't mean to go all the way in court like I was a liar. I just didn't understand the court at the time," he said.
Atkins was arrested on Oct. 28 in the Fort Wayne area after a warrant had been obtained by Celina police. He was brought to Mercer County to the county jail and was charged as an accomplice in the robbery. Also arrested was Joshuia Bursey, 32, Pierceton, Indiana, who was taken into custody on Sept. 30 after a traffic stop in Fort Wayne.
Bursey was also charged with robbery and theft. He is awaiting trial for anther incident in Indiana. A third person charged is Timothy A. Rios, 22, Fort Wayne, who was arrested in Indiana on a warrant from Celina police. Rios is scheduled for a change of plea hearing at 2:30 p.m. April 5 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Defense attorney Richard Delzeith said he's noticed improvement in his client.
"There is a change in Mr. Atkins. He is now focused on getting help for himself, which in turn, will help his family, especially his daughter and son," he said.
Ingraham acknowledged Atkins was showing some remorse for his actions but not sufficient remorse in the eyes of the court.
In his defense, Atkins said, "Listening to these people talk about what I did made me realize that I never want to be in a predicament like this again. Just give me a chance, and I'll show you I can be a better man."
Along with the 30-month prison sentence, Atkins must pay restitution of $6,692 to Second National Bank and court costs and fees for his court-appointed attorney. He was given credit for 145 days in jail already served on this charge. Atkins also must serve three years of mandatory past-release control after his release from prison.
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