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Attorney seeks 10-year sentence for bank robber

November 27, 2010
By JOHN PEPIN Journal Staff Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A Wisconsin public defender is seeking a maximum 10-year sentence for bank robber Kimberly Anne Timbrook-Miller of Iron River.

Miller, 46, is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Green Bay, Wis. She pleaded guilty Aug. 25 under a plea agreement to robbing the Range Bank in Kingsford of $52,365 on Feb. 17 and a federal firearms charge related to her brandishing a gun during the Dec. 11 robbing of the Laona State Bank in Wabeno, Wis. of $16,797.

In exchange, an armed bank robbery charge for the Wisconsin incident will be dismissed at sentencing. Miller must make full restitution for the amounts stolen in both bank robberies.

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"A sentence of 10 years would take into account the seriousness of the offense. Timbrook robbed two banks, one with a fake gun and one with an actual, albeit unloaded, firearm. Her behavior was dangerous to herself, the bank tellers, and to the community at large," wrote Miller attorney Tom Phillip in a court sentencing memorandum.

Potential sentences available to the judge for Miller include a statutory imprisonment range of 0 to 25 years for armed bank robbery; as scored by a pre-sentence report, an advisory sentencing guideline range of 63-78 months for the bank robbery charge; a reasonable sentence outside the guidelines; beyond any of these, a 7-year consecutive sentence for brandishing a firearm.

Phillip is arguing for 3 years sentenced for the bank robbery, plus the government's recommended 7 years for the weapons charge.

"She made away with a total of over $68,000 from both robberies. Each showed some planning and she was able to avoid capture for several months after the first robbery," Phillip said." On the other hand, however, Timbrook-Miller was not that skillful a bank robber as she was arrested the day after the second robbery when, while already under surveillance by law enforcement, her sister locked her out of the house."

While in custody, Miller wrote a 140-page life history which was made available to those writing the pre-sentence report. In her writing, Miller described a series of hardships. She was born in Grand Rapids, having 11 siblings. Her parents divorced when she was 10. Her mother left the family farm and her dad's death five years later was something she struggled with a great deal. Miller assumed the mother role in the family. She told police six or seven of her siblings are alcoholics.

Miller's first marriage, at age 19, was to a man about 10 years older who reportedly treated her "more like a fishing buddy than a spouse." They divorced after three years. Miller remarried in 1989 into an allegedly physically abusive relationship with a police officer. The marriage, which lasted four years, produced two children. Miller's third marriage occurred in 1995 and Miller divorced the man four years later.

"The defining characteristic of this marriage was that Timbrook-Miller's third husband produced child pornography of their daughter," Phillip wrote. "He was convicted in the Southern District of Indiana of production, receiving and shipping child pornography, and was sentenced to 200 months imprisonment."

After his arrest, Miller attempted suicide feeling "great guilt in not protecting her daughter" and "thought her children would be better off without her around."

Miller worked very hard to graduate from Northern Michigan University in 2007 with a degree in secondary education. Records from an inpatient mental health treatment stay in 2007 showed she was diagnosed with pathological gambling.

During her pre-sentence interview, Miller said her gambling got worse after her younger brother died in 2002. She believed gambling helped distract her from the loss and other problems. She said she has always spent all of the money she had and borrowed and stole money to gamble, the report said.

Before the Wisconsin bank robbery, Miller hid the magazine from the pistol near her family's farm because she did not want the gun to go off during the robbery. She hid the gun and the money from the robbery in the woods near a historical marker, but eventually spent the money gambling at casinos, according to court records.

After the Michigan bank robbery, Miller hid the money at her sister's house. She gambled at a casino the night of the robbery and was arrested the next day.

"Timbrook-Miller committed the robberies to obtain money to support her gambling addiction, not to finance a lavish lifestyle," Phillip wrote, saying Miller confessed to both bank robberies and led police to the gun used in the Wisconsin crime.

Phillip argued a 10-year sentence would promote respect for the law and would deter Miller from future crimes.

"Ten years is not a number that an uninformed observer would think amounts to a slap on the wrist. Ten years sounds long and it is," Phillip wrote. "Timbrook-Miller will be deterred by a 10-year sentence. It is arguable how much general deterrence any sentence would provide as defendants are almost always sentenced to prison for bank robberies, and yet people still rob banks."

Phillip said the sentence would also protect society during Miller's sentence and subsequent term of supervised release.

"Prison will physically prevent her from going to a casino to gamble and will limit her access to other people's money," Phillip wrote. "Conditions of supervised release that both prohibit gambling and require treatment can promote additional protection of the public after Timbrook-Miller's eventual release from custody."

Pending her sentencing, Miller remains jailed in Wisconsin.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His e-mail address is



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