Court report

MOUNT VERNON — A 38-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a Burlington bank robbery in April.

Benjamin Murdock Brown pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault and one count of first-degree theft for the April 17 incident at the Chase bank branch in the Burlington Fred Meyer.

The assault charge is a “strike” offense — three such offenses would mean life in prison without parole.

According to court documents, Brown entered the bank about 6 p.m. and passed a note to a teller requesting money.

The teller complied with Brown’s request and he then left the bank.

On April 24, Brown turned himself in at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Reno, Nevada, and was transported back to Skagit County where he was charged with first-degree robbery of a financial institution.

While he pleaded to reduced charges, he did not receive the sentences normally attached to them.

Based on his lack of criminal history, the standard sentencing range for the assault charge is between six and 12 months and between two and six months for the theft charge, Skagit County Deputy Criminal Prosecutor Mary Ryan said.

However, based on the severity of the crime, Judge Laura Riquelme agreed to the sentence of two years in prison followed by 18 months of community custody and substance and mental health evaluations.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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