Man Who Left Casino, Robbed Bank, Then Returned to Gamble Gets Sentenced

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Mar/03/2017

(Associated Press) - A drug-addicted gambler who left a West Virginia casino, robbed a bank, then returned to the blackjack table was sentenced Thursday to between five and 18 years in prison.

Kerry Johnson had been at the Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro for hours Aug. 2 when he put down a $25 chip to hold his spot. Prosecutors said Johnson then drove 13 miles to a Charleston bank and gave tellers a note saying he had a bomb and a weapon and robbed it of about $5,000.

Johnson then returned to the blackjack table and resumed gambling.

Police later found Johnson at his home asleep on a couch. Prosecutors said a large sum of cash was stuffed between couch cushions, and some taken during the robbery was recovered at the blackjack table.

Johnson had said he'd taken quite a few drugs on Aug. 2 and "most of the day was a blur" but recognized himself after seeing video from the bank.

While a public defender had sought home confinement, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom said Johnson needed to be punished for his "extraordinarily risky behavior."

"We also need to send a message to the community that bank robberies are not acceptable," Bloom said.

Friends described what Johnson did as bizarre and out of character. Johnson earned $300,000 to $400,000 a year as a car salesman and dealership consultant, and he said he made "so much money that it never ran out, and it just fueled my addictions."

Johnson told the judge he had been using drugs for more than two decades and, although he had gone into rehabilitation once, his addictions continued and "the money has been lost in gambling."

"I am no bank robber. I'm no thief. I've never stolen anything my entire life," Johnson said. "I'm a bad drug addict. I'm an addicted gambler, and I'm asking for your help. I want to get better."

Public defender John Sullivan sought to have Johnson serve his sentence at his mother's home in another county a mere 100 yards from a state police post. Johnson said his worst fear was losing his aging mother while he was in prison.

Johnson, 52, who pleaded guilty in January to second-degree robbery, was given credit for seven months already served in jail.

Gambling News

Outside Experts Share Insights at Global Gaming Expo 2017

Global Gaming Expo (G2E), presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and Reed Exhibitions, will bring in leaders from neuroscience, marketing and generational studies to share their knowledge on how casino professionals can sharpen their leadership skills.

Paddy Power Pays Out £250,000 Early on Mayweather Bets: Under Fire for ‘Racial’ Promo

Paddy Power Pays Out £250,000 Early on Mayweather Bets: Under Fire for ‘Racial’ Promo

“We Always Bet on Black” advert has folks furious at betting firm

Vegas to Debut First Free-Roam Virtual Reality Arena at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino

Vegas to Debut First Free-Roam Virtual Reality Arena at MGM Grand Casino

Vegas' first multi-player free-roam VR experience inside LEVEL UP gaming lounge unveiled September 8.

Vegas Officer Arraigned on Manslaughter Charge in Chokehold Death

Vegas Officer Arraigned for Manslaughter in Chokehold Death

A suspended police officer has been arraigned on a manslaughter charge in the chokehold death last May of an unarmed man he chased out of a Las Vegas Strip casino.

CNBC: No sex, No gambling as China Tightens Rules on Foreign Investment

CNBC: No sex, No gambling as China Tightens Rules on Foreign Investment

New rules from Beijing prohibit investments in core military technology and anything that endangers national security, according to a report filed by CNBC Monday.

Syndicate