Ithaca, N.Y. — Judge John C. Rowley on Friday delayed the sentencing for a man who has admitted to robbing a bank in Ithaca in November.

Ithaca Is Bluegrass Jan. 23-25

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Ian Miles, 28, of Cortland, appeared in Tompkins County Court Friday afternoon around 4 p.m. wearing an inmate jacket.

It’s been over two months since he reportedly threatened a teller at the Elmira Savings Bank on East State Street, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and went to the Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse.

Judge Rowley’s decision Friday leaves the door open for Miles to serve no state prison time in connection with the crime. That would be dependent on Miles’ successful completion of a drug treatment and rehabilitation program.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Bonavia said prosecutors have sought a prison sentence for Miles of one to three years. Miles pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery, a class D felony, according to Bonavia.

“We disagree that treatment in the circumstances is appropriate,” said Bonavia, who stressed that prosecutors “respect the judge’s right to sentence” as he sees fit.

“It’s a bank robbery — it’s a very dangerous situation; certainly, things could have gone terribly wrong.”

Matt Van Houten is Miles’ defense attorney. Houten said that “no prison time with intensive probation and supervision” was more appropriate than the sentence pursued by prosecutors.

“(Miles) has had long-standing substance abuse issues — when he hit his low point is when he committed this crime,” Van Houten said of Miles. “Since then, he’s taken responsibility for it and is remorseful.”

In court, the attorneys noted that Miles wrote a letter of apology to the bank teller who was threatened.

But, according to Bonavia, the victim “wasn’t interested” in reading the apology, and returned it.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.