A Michigan man who attempted to rob a restaurant said that he committed the crime so he could go back to jail. On July 9, Mark Wilson, 59, walked into a Hardee's in Escanaba and handed the cashier a note saying that he was robbing the establishment. He then went into the restroom and waited for police officers to arrive. He surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.
When Wilson faced the judge for his most recent robbery attempt, he explained that he wanted to return to prison. Wilson's criminal record dates back to 1983, and he was most recently released from prison in 2012, following a conviction for robbing an Arby’s in 2009. He completed the terms of his parole in 2014 but was unable to adjust to life outside of prison.
“Somewhere along the road, your honor, I just seemed to have lost the ability to function normally with society,” Wilson told Judge John Economopoulos. “I would like to say to the people that I apologize in the most sincere manner for my behavior.”
The judge granted his wish and sentenced him to 25 to 40 years in jail.
“If this outside world is a hostile environment for you, and the inside world of the Department of Corrections is the institution in which you’re most familiar… then my message to you is this: If you cannot be or do not desire to be a law-abiding citizen on the outside, at least do your very best to be a model on the inside,” Economopoulos said.
Wilson will be eligible for parole when he is in his 80s, but unless he has a change of heart, he will likely spend the rest of his life living behind bars.
“When you go back to prison, a place where you’re abundantly familiar with, do your best to be a model citizen within those confines because that will be your world for many years to come," Economopoulos told Wilson. "Your opportunity at redemption, your opportunity at solace, and finding your own wisdom on respect to your path will best be found within the prison system — make the best of it.”
Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections