A bank robber in Alabama has an interesting defense. He claims that prayer led him to rob two banks.
The suspect, Christopher Bruce, allegedly robbed the First Financial Bank last week and the West Alabama Bank the week prior, reports Birmingham's WBRC-TV.
After Bruce was caught, he reportedly told a tale of being down on his luck and looking for a way out. When he turned to God, Bruce said that the answer he received was to rob banks.
Bruce was a convicted felon who stated that he had hoped to go straight. But given the tough economic times, Bruce said it was hard for him to find a legitimate job, reports WBRC.
One day when Bruce was driving, he pulled over and turned to prayer in search of a solution. The answer made available to him was to continue his life of crime, Bruce allegedly told authorities.
As he committed the robberies, Bruce was reportedly polite and did not injure anyone. But in at least one robbery, he was allegedly armed with a knife.
After police caught up with Bruce, he confessed to the crimes and insisted that prayer led him to commit the bank robberies.
As Bruce prepares to face criminal charges, he and his criminal defense attorney had better come up with a better defense than "prayer made me do it." Even in the Bible Belt, it's unlikely that a jury would excuse a criminal for admitted crimes simply because the defendant believes that God condoned his unlawful activities.
In fact, if Bruce truly believes he can talk to God and that God told him to rob banks in western Alabama, his best defense may be to plead insanity.
- Bank Robber Claims Prayer as Motivation, Police Say (Chicago's WMAQ-TV)
- Man Attacked Teen, then 'Tebowed' Before He Left (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Should Replacing a Virgin Mary with a Gnome Be a Hate Crime? (FindLaw's Legally Weird)