Two-year prison term for three bank robberies

Judge Mayland McKimm is impressed with Michael Lawrence Schoenknecht’s attempts to rehabilitate himself from a nasty heroin addiction.

Vernon Provincial Court judge Mayland McKimm is impressed with Michael Lawrence Schoenknecht’s attempts to rehabilitate himself from a nasty heroin addiction.

On Thursday, McKimm agreed with defence lawyer Brian Loewen’s request that Schoenknecht be sentenced to two years in a federal prison after Schoenknecht pleaded guilty to three Vernon bank robberies, fueled by his heroin addiction.

“I am impressed by comments in the pre-sentence report and psychiatric assessment that said Mr. Schoenknecht’s remorse seemed genuine, and that was consistent with his attitude portrayed throughout the proceedings,” said McKimm. “The only risk to society is if he doesn’t deal with his drug habit and get the habit under control.”

Schoenknecht, 30, whose family attended the court proceedings, pleaded guilty to bank robberies at VantageOne Credit Union, Bank of Montreal and HSBC over an eight-month period in Vernon between December 2011 and July 2012. In each instance, Schoenknecht produced a note saying he had a weapon, but no weapon was ever produced or brandished during the robberies.

McKimm was puzzled by the lack of victim impact statements from any of the tellers involved in the robberies.

Schoenknecht will be placed on 12-months probation upon his release from prison. He must also provide a DNA sample and was given a 10-year firearms prohibition.