Man: Poor life prospects sparked bank robbery

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Kevin Murphy
Friday, June 15, 2012
— A man who robbed a Janesville Mid-America Bank at gunpoint in August 2010 said Thursday he was AWOL from the Army at the time and had no job prospects.

While absent without leave from Fort Bragg, N.C., Michael C. Funk, 27, robbed a Road Ranger gas station in Belvidere, Ill., on August 5, 2010. It was there a clerk at the station got the license plate of the Kia Spectra that Funk was driving, according to documents filed with the court.

After checking out of a Motel 6 in Janesville the next day, Funk went to the Mid-America Bank, 2317 Milton Ave., and handed a teller a drawstring bag, demanded "all your money," and pointed a large semi-automatic handgun at her, according to court documents.

As Funk fled with $8,057, an assistant manageróalerted by the robbery signal activated by the tellerógot a look at the robber and the car he drove off in.

Janesville police contacted area motels and learned that Funk had stayed at the Motel 6, 2907 Milton Ave., the night before the robbery and was driving a car with the same plate noted in the Belvidere robbery.

Funk avoided arrest until being apprehended in the state of Washington on Sept. 1, 2010. There he was found with $5,000 in cash, some of it bait money from the Mid-America robbery, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman said.

While in custody in November 2010, Funk attempted suicide and was committed for mental health treatment.

In December 2011, Funk was found to be legally competent and ordered to return to Wisconsin to stand trial. Instead, Funk continued to cut himself while in custody and, fearing his fragile mental state, authorities delayed transporting him to Wisconsin.

By April, Funk was in Wisconsin, declared legally competent and had an Aug. 6 trial date set. This week he signed an agreement to plead guilty to brandishing a weapon in the commission of a crime. He has also agreed to make restitution.

Conley continued Funk's detention to the Aug. 10 sentencing hearing, where Funk faces seven years to life in prison.

Last updated: 8:46 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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