LE CENTER – The 70-year-old woman charged with robbing an Elysian bank in December entered a guilty plea this morning in Le Sueur County District Court.
Under the terms accepted by Judge Michael Baxter, Sandra LeaAnn Bathke of Janesville will plead guilty to one count of felony, 2nd degree Aggravated Robbery.
Three other felony counts of 1st Degree Aggravated Robbery, Simple Robbery, and Theft will be dropped.
Bathke’s public defender, Richard C. Lea says his client will not be required to serve any time in prison. However she could face up to one year in county jail when she is sentenced in early April.
Despite being released on her own recognizance on December 17, 2010, Bathke has remained in the Le Sueur County Jail because she has been unable to find a place to live.
Today, she told her attorney and Judge Baxter that she had a place to stay at the Viking Jr. Hotel in St. Peter. But she needed a ride to Janesville to get money.
County attorney Jason Moran seemed to be against a defense request to have a sheriff’s department squad car give her a lift to Janesville and then to St. Peter.
An agitated Judge Baxter question why Moran would choose to keep Bathke in jail rather than help her find a find.
“It’s not that I want her to stay in jail,” said Moran.
For a moment, it appeared as if Bathke would remain in jail.
“We’re doing something that doesn’t make any sense,” said Judge Baxter.
At that point Sheriff Tom Doherty, who was in the courtroom, spoke up and told the judge his department would give her a ride.
Judge Baxter told Bathke’s attorney that if his client didn’t have a ride secured by mid-afternoon that he wanted to be informed.