From the Gaston Gazette in Gaston County, North Carolina:
He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention.
“I didn’t have any fears,” said Verone. “I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police.”
Verone expected to be charged with bank robbery.
Because he only demanded $1, he was charged with larceny from a person. Still a felony, the count doesn’t carry as much jail time as bank robbery.
The bearded, gray-haired man plans to represent himself in court. He’s trying not to get too confident about his knowledge of the legal system. He just wants to prepare a statement for the judge and then take whatever active sentence he is given.
Verone is considering an ultimatum if the penalty isn’t great enough, he said.
The crime will happen again.
It's impossible to read this story and not think about different choices that James Verone might have made. The real story here is the desperation that he was feeling; desperation shared by increasing numbers of people in the United States - the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care to every citizen.
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org