By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — A bank robber fidgeted in her shackles as she apologized to her 13-year-old daughter seated in the courtroom Tuesday.
Navey Skinner said she never wanted the girl to hear that her mother had a criminal history. She certainly doesn’t want her daughter to follow in her footsteps, Skinner said. She praised her mother and stepfather for taking good care of the girl.
Skinner, 35, also apologized to the bank teller whom she threatened and robbed in December.
A judge on Tuesday sentenced Skinner to 3 ½ years in prison.
Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss said he is sympathetic to Skinner’s struggles with drug addiction and her history of mental illness, but he couldn’t ignore Skinner’s actions inside the Arlington Chase Bank last winter.
Skinner, on a methamphetamine binge, handed the teller a note, demanding she put money in a bag or die.
The victim took the robber’s death threat seriously and “no doubt the incident impacted the bank teller’s life forever,” Weiss said.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler recommended the 3 ½-year sentence — a mid-range prison term under state guidelines.
Stemler pointed out that while Skinner had only one prior adult felony conviction, she’d racked up nearly 20 misdemeanor convictions. He also noted that she already been given a break. She was accused of stealing her daughter’s Christmas presents about a week before the bank robbery. Stemler agreed not to charge her with the theft in exchange for her guilty plea to the robbery.
Whitney Rivera, an attorney with the county’s Public Defenders Association, encouraged the judge to cut six months from the prosecutor’s recommendation. She noted that Skinner had been caught up in a downward spiral of addiction, mental illness crises and homelessness.
Those factors “deeply impacted her ability to exercise appropriate judgment, behavior and conduct in the community,” Rivera wrote in court papers.
Skinner had gotten clean when her daughter was born and lived a productive life, the attorney noted. Unfortunately, she’d relapsed in 2005. Skinner admitted that she robbed the bank to feed her addiction.
Weiss ordered Skinner to undergo drug and mental health evaluations and follow through with any treatment plans that may be recommended. She also was ordered to pay back the $950 she stole from the bank.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.