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Alleged Robber Picks Trial Over Deal

18 June 2002

IOWA – As reported by the Des Moines Register: "A Winterset man accused of robbing a bank last year to help cover his casino losses decided Monday to gamble on a trial rather than accept a plea deal.

"`I'm in a fight for my life, and I'm going to stand up and fight,' said Steve Raymie, 42.

"Raymie was scheduled Monday to accept a shortened prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. In an interview after Monday's court hearing, Raymie said he was unhappy with the offer, although he declined to discuss details.

"…Raymie allegedly held up a De Soto bank in October and claimed after his arrest that he did so to feed a gambling addiction. He is charged with second-degree robbery and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. At least 81/2 years of that sentence would have to be served before Raymie could be eligible for parole, Zbieroski said.

"Zbieroski and Reisetter would not discuss the details Monday of the plea agreement offered to Raymie, who said he and his wife, Jane, are in counseling for gambling addition.

"…Raymie believes his out-of-control gambling, mostly on slot machines at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, blurred his reasoning and compelled him to rob the Earlham Savings Bank in De Soto of $20,000.

"He said he and his wife gambled away more than $300,000, drained their checking account and defaulted on a second mortgage…"

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