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Woman gets 10 years in robberies

Jan. 11, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- A Hamlin, W.Va., woman will spend a decade in prison for her convictions of holding up a Lincoln County bank and a nursing home that employed her in Putnam County.

Morgan Marie Mullins, 27, received the 10-year prison sentence Thursday from U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston, according to court officials. She also must complete three years of supervised release.

The incidents occurred May 2, 2012, at Teays Valley Center near Hurricane, W.Va., and May 22, 2012, at City National Bank in Hamlin. Mullins used a pistol during both robberies, according to the plea agreement she signed with prosecutors.

Mullins had pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery at City National, along with charges of interfering with commerce by violent threats and using a firearm in a crime of violence at the nursing home.

Mullins' defense had sought an 8-year prison sentence, suggesting a longer punishment would make her vulnerable to victimization and abuse in prison, according to a sentencing memorandum filed prior to Thursday's hearing.

The memorandum listed Mullins as suffering from gender identity disorder. It further described the condition as an internal struggle "feeling like God made a mistake." It caused her to experience feelings of isolation and depression, which eventually led to an opiate addition at age 24. She satisfied it with prescription drugs.

Pills were the target of Mullins' holdup at the nursing home, located along North Poplar Fork Road near Hurricane. That's where Mullins entered an unlocked window and used a mask, a disguised voice and a pistol to rob her colleagues of numerous prescription drugs, the plea agreement states.

The bank heist followed weeks later, when the agreement further states Mullins again used a pistol in making her demands. She stole $3,003.

The memorandum states Mullins graduated in 2004 from Guyan Valley High School. She then attended Marshall University for two years, later completing a licensed practical nursing program at the Cabell County Career and Technology Center.

Mullins used that degree to obtain a job at Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Center, until she moved to Teays Valley in August 2011. She had since resumed studies to be a registered nurse at ITT Tech near Huntington.

Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss three gun charges in exchange for Mullins' plea.

Follow Curtis Johnson via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD and http://facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD.

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