The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 2, 2014

Two men sentenced in attempted bank robbery case

CLINTON — Two men who admitted to attempting to rob an Andover bank on Nov. 1 will not serve any prison time.

District Court Judge Mark Smith sentenced William Kassel, 33, and Jason Newsom, 35, this afternoon. The two men pleaded guilty to first-degree conspiracy to commit theft, a class D felony, on Nov. 21.

Previously, the defendants told the court that Kassel picked Newsom up at 2 p.m. Nov. 1, and they decided on a whim to drive to the Clinton National Bank in Andover and take money from it. Kassel wrote a note asking a teller to give them money. Newsom took the note into the bank. He came out of the bank empty-handed after the teller said she did not have any money in her drawer.

The Clinton County Sheriff's Office received a call about the attempted bank robbery at 3 p.m. The caller provided a detailed description of the suspect and the vehicle involved. Deputies located the vehicle around 3:15 p.m. in Clinton and stopped the defendants on Bluff Boulevard at the intersection of Terrace Drive.

Smith granted Kassel a deferred sentence due to his lack of a criminal record. Kassel was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and up to $1,200 for court-appointed attorney fees. Smith also ordered him to receive a substance-abuse screening and complete two years of probation.

However, Smith said a deferred judgment would not be best for Newsom, who has three prior convictions.

"Because of this bizarre event, sending you to prison doesn't make any sense to me, but neither does a deferred judgment, based on your criminal history," Smith said.

Newsom was sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined $750. The sentence of incarceration was suspended. He must pay up to $1,200 for court-appointed attorney fees and complete two years of probation.

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