Elderly Bank Robber Gets Probation

Man was being held on $50,000 bail

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A man who admitted robbing a bank to pay his mortgage will soon be out of jail.

"I had to get us out of this," Michael Casey Wilson said in a jailhouse interview shortly after he pleaded guilty in September. "I've never done a bad thing in my life. But when you get desperate, I guess you throw all that sh-- out the window."

Wilson pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery and one count of falsely reporting a bomb to a business. On Monday, a Superior Court judge sentenced him to probation, giving Wilson credit for the nearly four months he has spent in jail. Wilson had faced seven years in jail.

To hear Wilson tell it, a 17-percent mortgage, the threat of homelessness and a terminal health condition turned him to crime.

Wilson, 69, walked into the Bank of America branch in the 4100 block of El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights in September and handed the bank manager a demand note, saying he had a bomb. Prosecutors said the Santee man made off with $107,000 before he was caught lying on a front porch near the bank.

"I wrote them an apology. I am so sorry," Wilson said in September, referring to the employees who rushed out of the bank. "It's not my purpose in life to scare people."

During the interview in jail, Wilson was very open about the plan he had hatched to save his home.

"I was hoping to get $50,000 to pay off my mortgage," he said. "Just to get the money and get the hell out of there."

At the time of the robbery, Wilson said he lived with his 73-year old wife, who he described as a "gentle soul." He said he feared for her future living on the streets if he couldn't make their house payment.

Wilson claims doctors have diagnosed him with severe arthritis, sleep apnea, heart problems and a disease he described as one "that makes you fly off the handle." Wilson said he was told he had one to two years to live.

"Let's face it," he said. "Here's a man who (screwed) up his life and his family's life but I did it with good intentions. Just stupid intentions."

Click here to watch part of the jailhouse interview.

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