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MERRILLVILLE, Ind.— A former convict who robbed a bank hoping he’d be sent back to prison told a judge he wanted to plead guilty only if he got the maximum 8-year sentence.

David Potchen, 53, said he was desperate after losing his $11-an-hour job and the room at a Gary motel where he was living, the Post-Tribune reported. He admitted handing a teller a note asking for $5 and $10 bills at a bank in June.

‘‘Once I ran out of money, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing everything again,’’ Potchen, a welder with 20 years of experience, told the judge on Wednesday. ‘‘I went inside, took the money, sat on the curb, and waited for them [police] to come.’’


Potchen had served a sentence in connection with a 2001 bank robbery.

Judge Clarence Murray said he found it disturbing that someone would want to serve the maximum sentence. Potchen said no one would hire him because of his criminal history, and he said he decided to rob the bank after spending a night in the woods.

‘‘I hope to God someone reads about this and offers some help to you,’’ Murray said. ‘‘You’re not a throwaway, Mr. Potchen. You have value, sir.”

Associated Press