published Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years

This Feb. 9, 2013, file surveillance photo provided by the FBI shows 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun, an ex-convict from Rock Hill., S.C., during a bank robbery in Niles, Ill.
This Feb. 9, 2013, file surveillance photo provided by the FBI shows 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun, an ex-convict from Rock Hill., S.C., during a bank robbery in Niles, Ill.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CHICAGO — Former inmate Walter Unbehaun has gotten what he said he wanted when he robbed a suburban Chicago bank last year. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison.

A federal judge in Chicago sentenced him to 3 1/2 years in prison on Thursday. He'd pleaded guilty to robbing the bank, saying he planned to get caught so he could go back to prison.

Unbehaun held a cane as he limped up to a podium to make a brief statement. He didn't withdraw his desire to go to prison. But he told the judge, "I don't want to die in prison."

Defense attorney Richard McLeese had called the case of someone who wanted to go to prison the "saddest and most disturbing" of his career.

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