Blackjack player who left casino to rob bank gets prison

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A West Virginia man who said he was under the influence of drugs when he left a blackjack table, robbed a bank, then returned to the casino for more gambling has been sentenced to five to 18 years in prison.

Fifty-two-year-old Kerry Johnson of Charleston was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery. Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom called Johnson’s actions “extraordinarily risky behavior.”

Johnson put down a $25 chip to hold his spot after hours of gambling Aug. 2 at the Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro. Prosecutors said Johnson then drove 13 miles to a Charleston bank, gave tellers a note saying he had a bomb and a weapon, and robbed it of about $5,000.

Johnson then returned to the casino to resume gambling.

Tyler Barker
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