Felon Unable to Find Work Robs Bank to Go Back to Prison

Image Credit: "Alcatraz - Inside the Main Cellhouse (4409974876)" by Daniel Ramirez

Image Credit: “Alcatraz – Inside the Main Cellhouse (4409974876)” by Daniel Ramirez

Merrillville, IN (TFC) – An ex-con lost his job and home. Rather than sleep in the woods again, the man robbed a bank and waited for police to arrest him. He is asking the judge for the maximum sentence.

David Potchen, 53, was working a job paying $11 per hour. It wasn’t much, but it paid for the motel he was living in. Once he lost the job and was unable to find employment because of his previous felony conviction, he spent one night sleeping in the woods and decided to rob a bank, armed only with a note just so he could go back to prison.

He told Judge Clarence Murray:

“Once I ran out of money, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing everything again. I went inside, took the money, sat on the curb and waited for them to come.”

Potchen is willing to plead guilty to the charge if the judge sentences him to maximum of eight years in prison.


The judge in this case appears to be going for the spirit of justice, rather than the letter of the law. Before scheduling a status hearing for March, he told the defendant:

“I hope to God someone reads about this and offers some help to you. You’re not a throwaway, Mr. Potchen. You have value, sir. I’m always optimistic and hopeful that there are still good people out there who believe freedom is important.”

Recidivism rates in the United States are high, and more and more crimes are classified as felonies making more citizens lose their civil rights simultaneously becoming obligated to check that terrifying box on the job application.

On the off chance that Potchen reads this, hopefully one of the companies on this list provided by exoffenders.net would be willing to hire him and his 20 years of welding experience.