BANGOR, Maine — A local man who admitted robbing a Bangor Savings Bank branch in March was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to eight years in prison — six for the robbery and two more for committing it while he was on supervised release for a pair of 2006 bank robberies in southern Maine.
Donald Lloyd Turner, 40, of Bangor waived indictment in June and pleaded guilty to robbing the bank at 652 Broadway at about 2:15 p.m. March 5. He fled with more than $3,200, according to court documents.
In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Turner to three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay $3,263 in restitution to Bangor Savings Bank in addition to the more than $5,600 Turner owes in restitution for the 2006 bank robberies.
Turner was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland to five years in prison by U.S. District Judge George Singal for the 2006 robberies. He released in September 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
The defendant and his sister, Nicole Hanson of Brewer, told Hornby that Turner’s life began spiraling out of control in February when he was unable to get medication for his bipolar disorder, which was diagnosed while he was serving time for the earlier robberies. Both urged the judge to impose conditions that would provide Turner with a “safety net” due to his mental illness.
Hornby said that he had the power to impose certain conditions on a defendant, such as mental health counseling, but not the power to force other government entities to provide funds to meet those conditions for things such as medications.
Turner told the judge that he deserved to receive a long sentence because he committed the crime.
“I don’t want to have any contact with my victim,” he said, referring to standardized supervised release conditions that prevent offenders from having contact with victims of their crimes. “The [bank teller] I scared the heck out of, I can’t fix that. I’ve never been scared like that. I can’t take that back.”
Turner approached the woman shortly after 2 p.m. March 5, and placed a checkbook on the counter in front of her, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty. He told the teller he was having trouble balancing his checkbook and slid a checkbook register to her.
A note in the register read, “This is a robbery, no dye packs, no alarms.” The note also demanded cash, according to the court document, and claimed “there is a bomb in the envelope.” Turner then slid a manila envelope toward her and instructed her to put the money in his checkbook.
Turner left with the cash but left the envelope on the counter. The bomb squad from the Bangor Police Department X-rayed and searched the envelope and found wires but no explosive device. Turner drove away in a red Jeep Liberty.
After police released video surveillance of the robbery, two people who recognized Turner and the clothing he was wearing called investigators, according to previously published reports.
In addition to the bank robbery charge in federal court, Turner was charged in state court in connection with a stabbing incident the night of March 6 on Market Street, Bangor police have said.
Turner told Hornby that he planned to seek a jury trial at the Penobscot Judicial Center in January on those charges.
He faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the March bank robbery. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, Turner faced between five years and three months and 6½ years in prison. He faced between 1½ and two additional years in prison for violating his supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell recommended a sentence at the high end of the guideline range. Defense Attorney Sarah Churchill urged Hornby to sentence Turner to five years — the same sentence Singal imposed for the earlier robberies.
“I can’t provide a safety net as Mr. Turner and his sister would like,” Hornby said in imposing the sentences. “He is responsible for his own actions. My responsibility is to protect the public.”