Subscribe for 33¢ / day


SPRINGFIELD - A Central Illinois bank robber turned in by his own sons was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in federal prison for a string of small-town heists.

U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott gave the minimum sentence recommended by law to William Alfred "Al" Ginglen of Lewistown, who at 64 likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The judge also ordered Ginglen to pay $56,382 in restitution to repay the money authorities say he stole to support a girlfriend, a crack cocaine habit and visits to prostitutes.

Ginglen's double life, which he detailed in a diary of his crimes and life of vice, began to unravel in August 2004, when one of his sons, Peoria police officer Jared Ginglen, recognized his father on surveillance videos posted on a law enforcement Web site.

"There are no winners here today. The whole thing has been a tragedy for my family," Jared Ginglen told The Associated Press after his father's sentencing.

The three Ginglen boys - Jared, Clay and Garrett - have said it was their father, a former Marine, who taught them to always do the right thing. Jared Ginglen said there are no regrets about turning him in.

"It had to be done," he said.

In court Thursday, the judge called Ginglen's sons "the greatest credit of your life."

"They acted in an exemplary fashion under circumstances that must have been incredibly difficult," she said. "Someone taught them right from wrong, even when you didn't. Their actions perhaps saved your life."

Al Ginglen had spent the bulk of his life as a civic leader and married father of four. But his attorney, Ron Hamm, who was a classmate of Ginglen's at Lewistown High School in the late 1950s, said "something snapped" when Ginglen robbed five banks - two of them twice - from November 2003 to July 2004.

Hamm pleaded with Scott to consider Ginglen's service as village trustee, zoning board chairman, auxiliary police officer and firefighter when handing down the sentence.

Scott said Ginglen's paradoxical life, which began after he lost two jobs when the companies he worked for closed, posed a "dilemma in trying to figure out what in the world happened to you."

Addressing the court before receiving the 481-month sentence, Ginglen started to speak, stopped for 90 seconds to compose himself, and then said, "I'd like to apologize to everyone."

Ginglen pleaded guilty in July to seven counts of armed bank robbery and two counts of carrying and using a firearm during a crime of violence in return for a government promise to seek the minimum sentence.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Chesley read a statement from a teller at one of the banks Ginglen robbed, detailing her fear and subsequent grief and nightmares.

Chesley told the judge that "bank robbery is not just a crime about money."

"Bank robbery is a crime about violence and terror, especially when you use a firearm, especially when you're talking about small, rural banks where only female tellers are present, often alone," he said.

Hamm said he planned an appeal to suppress evidence Jared Ginglen took from his father's house, including clothing and the diary. Hamm said they were illegally seized because the son is a police officer.

Jared Ginglen said he was off duty at the time, out of his jurisdiction, and he went to the house to find his father and confront him, not seize evidence.


Load comments