Banner Bank on Colby in Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Banner Bank on Colby in Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Lawyer-turned-robbery suspect is sentenced, released

Richard Kriger, 61, had already spent a year in jail.

EVERETT — A lawyer who pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree robbery earlier this month was sentenced to one year behind bars.

He was released the next day, given credit for time served.

Richard Kriger, 61, walked into Banner Bank on Colby Avenue about a year ago wearing a fake beard, gloves and sunglasses. The Everett man sat with a supervisor and demanded money for a relative who, Kriger said, was waiting outside with a gun. That wasn’t true.

The manager triggered a silent alarm to alert police. Kriger was arrested, and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

Kriger was a licensed lawyer at the time. His permit is no longer valid. He missed a payment to renew it in May, the Washington State Bar Association said.

Kriger visited a psychologist about three months before the incident at the bank and was diagnosed with mental illness, according to court documents.

He had a follow-up appointment about two weeks later. The doctor wrote that Kriger’s condition seemed to be worse than before. The physician recommended therapy, and scheduled another visit in two months. Kriger wouldn’t make it.

He walked into the bank a week before the planned appointment. He demanded $51,848 for a fictional nephew who needed to pay his mortgage. Kriger said the man would come inside and shoot if he didn’t get the cash.

In reality, Kriger owed an actual family member about the same amount of money. His son was hurt in a car crash and received a settlement when he was 6. Kriger was supposed to save it until the boy grew up, but spent it, according to court documents.

Because of that, Kriger’s license to practice law was suspended in 2014 by the Idaho Supreme Court. He also was ordered to pay back his now-adult son.

Once Kriger was in the jail in Everett, he told staff that he believed imaginary situations were real. A mental health professional found that Kriger couldn’t control his thoughts or actions, records show.

Kriger was sent to a Yakima treatment center in March. He stayed there for a few months.

Because of Kriger’s medical history, prosecutors agreed that he should be released from jail after one year, which is below the standard sentencing range.

“Mr. Kriger is rehabilitated,” his attorney wrote. “Sending him to prison will serve no purpose. It will not teach him any lessons. It will not protect the public.”

He had served his entire sentence by the time it was decided and he was released on Dec. 18. He’ll have five years supervision in community custody, which is three times longer than usual.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey @heraldnet.com. Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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