At a sentencing hearing this morning, a federal judge in Phoenix told a convicted serial bank robber that he "is a poster child of why Congress enacted" the Three Strikes law. Then he sentenced him to life in prison plus seven years.
Stephen Ross Raboy, 60, of Phoenix, was convicted of three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence in September. And U.S. District Judge James Teilborg threw the book at at him -- thanks to the Three Strikes Law, which mandates those convicted of three felonies be sentenced to life in prison.
"Some people never learn, which is why the Three Strikes law is in place. Now, this serial bank robber will get to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his failed lessons," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke says in a statement.
Raboy robbed three Valley banks between February of 2009 and April of 2009. In each case, Raboy threatened the teller by saying he had a bomb, which forced police to evacuate the buildings. In each case, the "bomb" turned out to be fake.
In his most recent robbery, Raboy used a gun, too.
Raboy's also got himself a bit of a history -- since 1979, he's been convicted of several violent felonies, the Department of Justice says, and these robberies are just the latest in a series of crimes by a career criminal.
The additional seven years weren't just tacked on to add a little insult to injury. Because he used a gun in one of the robberies, sentencing guidelines make it mandatory that he be sentenced to the additional time.