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Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing Bank To Pay For Wife’s Cancer Treatment

January 31, 1995

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ An out-of-work man pleaded guilty Monday to robbing a bank to raise $10,000 for his wife’s ovarian cancer treatments.

Larry Eugene Archer, 22, changed his plea from innocent because he pulled the heist, lawyer Val Price said. The switch had been expected. Sentencing is expected sometime in March.

Archer was accused of demanding $10,000 from a MidSouth bank teller in Jonesboro two days before Thanksgiving. Although he was carrying no weapon, he told the teller he had an explosive device. He took $4,150 and was arrested a short time later after he crashed his wife’s car during a chase. All of the money was recovered.

At the time of his arrest, Archer told police he needed money for his wife’s medical bills. He said several banks had rejected loan requests because he was fired from his $8-an-hour job at a lamp factory.

Archer told U.S. District Judge Elsijane T. Roy that he had not been promised a specific sentence in exchange for his guilty plea. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation.

``At this time, I don’t know what sentence will be imposed,″ the judge said.

Archer was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance pending the sentencing hearing.

Price said Archer still is looking for a job; Archer says he was fired because he spent so much time at home caring for his wife.

Price declined to comment on Mrs. Archer’s health. She wasn’t in court Monday. Her mother, Joyce Catt, said she had a doctor’s appointment.

Mrs. Archer was diagnosed with cancer after the couple married in January 1994.

Bills mounted and public assistance requests stalled in the system.

On the morning of Nov. 22, Archer took his wife’s two children to school, took her back to their apartment and headed to nearby Jonesboro to the bank.

Archer has been in trouble before, pleading guilty to forgery when he was 17. He got five years’ probation.