Appellate court upholds North Riverside bank robber's sentence

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By Bob Uphues


A federal appeals court in July upheld the decision by Judge John F. Grady to sentence Ronald Townsend, of Orland Park, to 41 months in prison for robbing the North Riverside TCF Bank branch at 7201 24th St. in March 2011 and holding up a Bolingbrook payday loan store a month later.

Townsend's attorney argued that his client should have received a sentence of 24 months, since he committed the robberies in a moment of "extreme emotional duress resulting from a financial crisis." The attorney also argued that the two incidents should have been viewed as one action, since they shared a single motivation.

But the appellate court disagreed, saying Grady "gave thoughtful consideration" to the sentencing guidelines and to the argument that Townsend's actions were aberrant. The appellate court noted specifically that Grady selected a sentence on the low end of the sentencing range because "I think [this] will take account of the previous law-abiding life of the defendant."

The appellate court's judgment was entered officially on Aug. 19.

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