The pregnant woman who robbed a Rock Hill bank at gunpoint in 2014 was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty but mentally ill two weeks after rejecting the deal.
Laterria Hill, 31, will be allowed to stay at her Rock Hill home with her 8-week old daughter and three other daughters until reporting to prison Jan. 1 under a plea agreement approved by Circuit Court Judge Dan Hall. She will have mental health treatment in a state institution until she is deemed fit to be sent to general population in prison to finish her term.
Hall allowed Hill to report to prison in January to give her time to tend to her children, saying in court that such an allowance is what is used in similar cases in the federal court system.
Hill, a certified nursing assistant with no previous criminal record, apologized to the teller she terrified by holding a gun on her at the Arrow Pointe Federal Credit Union branch on Heckle Boulevard in October 2014.
“I never intended to do it,” Hill said in court. “I ask for your forgiveness. I have four daughters. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m not the person you saw in the paper in the news.”
Pregnant at the time, Hill walked into the bank with her sweatshirt pulled over her face, showed the gun, and left with $10,000 in cash, said Chris Epting, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor. She was arrested shortly afterward in the getaway car.
Hill’s lawyers, former U.S. Attorney and State Law Enforcement Division chief Reggie Lloyd and Public Defender Mindy Lipinksi, said a combination of Hill’s pregnancy stresses, childhood trauma, and other crises – including financial stress – caused what Lipinksi called “a perfect mental storm that day.”
Lloyd said that stresses, but not so much the need for money, pushed Hill to act out of character on a day when she had considered suicide before the robbery.