Craig Blankenship

Blankenship

Craig Blankenship, 37, received a 10-year prison sentence Monday for robbing an Idaho Falls bank last year. 

Citing Blankenship's criminal history, which includes theft, and the traumatic nature of the robbery for the bank employee and the local community, Judge Dane Watkins Jr. gave Blankenship a 2.5-year fixed sentence, with 7.5 indeterminate years and credit for time already served. The sentence includes a $1,000 fine.

For robbery the minimum sentence is five years in prison, the maximum sentence is life in prison, and the maximum fine is $50,000.

After spending a year in county jail, Blankenship appeared at his sentencing. His attorney, Rocky Wixom, asked that Blankenship receive a rider sentence.

The state's attorney, Tanner Crowther, recommended a three-year fixed sentence and seven years indeterminate.

Both prosecution and defense acknowledged that Blankenship has mental health issues. 

On the morning of June 26, 2018, Blankenship entered the Bank of Commerce on West Broadway in Idaho Falls. He handed a note to the teller demanding that she give him all the money she could in $100s, $50s and $20s. He handed the woman shopping bags to load the cash.

Blankenship was unarmed.

The teller told police she complied with his demands out of fear, saying his appearance and demeanor made it seem he would escalate to violence.

An audit of the drawer determined Blankenship stole $1,672.

After leaving the bank, Blankenship went to a store on the 400 block of South Utah Avenue and purchased several items with cash, including a vape device, vape juice and a battery for the vape device. 

After buying vape supplies, Blankenship bought clothing from several stores. He then rented a room at a hotel on Lindsay Boulevard. 

Police were able to identify Blankenship by a tattoo seen by one of the bank employees. Officers tracked Blankenship to the hotel and arrested him. He still had $1,186.

Reporter Ryan Suppe can be reached at 208-542-6762. Follow him on Twitter: @salsuppe.