Convicted Armed Bank Robber Loses Appeal
Imprisoned bank robber James Thain has another 26 years to figure out his next move.
That's because a federal judge on Tuesday dismissed two motions he filed to have his sentence reviewed.
Thain, who with accomplice Mindy Lawrence, robbed the Bank of the West in east Casper, and banks in Rock Springs, Laramie, and the Salt Lake City area.
On July 16, 2014, he pleaded guilty to five of a six-count indictment in Wyoming -- three counts of bank robbery, one count of using a firearm during that crime, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm -- and also agreed to plead guilty to nine counts of bank robbery in Utah.
Thain agreed to a 27-year sentence followed by five years probation, and Chief U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced him on Oct. 1. He didn't file a direct appeal at that time.
But on June 1, he filed a motion in federal court to set aside his sentence, and then filed a "motion for leave" on July 27, to have his sentence reviewed because he believed a change in the Armed Career Criminal Act would affect his sentence.
Thain claimed his attorney improperly advised him during the plea negotiations that conviction of three prior bank robberies in Utah in 2003 qualified as violent felonies under the ACCA. Because the three robberies were in a single indictment that the court should have considered them as one event, and he should have received a shorter sentence
Tuesday, Freudenthal dismissed both motions, writing that Thain improperly interpreted the law.
"Thain cannot show such a reasonable probability that he would have been acquitted or received a lesser sentence," she wrote.