A crusty old Salt Lake man with a bad habit - robbing banks - has been sentenced to a five-year term, 35 years after pulling his first bank job.
Joseph Herman Wagstaff, address listed as 1865 W. North Temple, robbed Zions First National Bank, 310 S. Main, on Nov. 30, 1987.Age 72 at that time, he was unarmed. He walked away with $13,700 in cash, only to be arrested as he left the building.
The federal sentencing guidelines would have imposed only a three-year term, because his previous crimes were so long ago. But prosecutors felt he was still a threat. U.S. District Senior Judge Aldon J. Anderson agreed.
This week the judge sentenced Wagstaff to five years in custody, recommending that he go to a special federal facility in Fort Worth, Texas, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Diamond described as similar to a rest home.
"This recommendation is based upon the necessity for medical and psychological attention," Anderson wrote.
He noted that Wagstaff was convicted in 1954 of bank robbery. He was on parole in 1963 when he was arrested for attempted robbery. Then he was again convicted for bank robbery in 1982, the judge wrote.
Diamond described Wagstaff as an ornery defendant.
"He bad-mouthed the judge, bad-mouthed his attorney. He never bad-mouthed me, at least while I was around, but he sure bad-mouthed everybody else."