By Cindy Landrum  

DECEMBER 17, 2009 11:23 a.m. Comments (3)

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Judge Henry Floyd sentenced Bruce Lee Windsor to 130 months in prison in front of a standing-room-only crowd in a Spartanburg Federal Court.

The sentence was the maximum allowed and Windsor will be required to serve the entire sentence.

He is now in state custody and faces two kidnapping charges, which are expected to be addressed sometime in January.

Once he has been sentenced on the state charges, he will begin serving the 130 months.

Supporters of both the bank employees and Windsor were given the opportunity to speak.

Church members, who arrived in a bus from Brushy Creek Baptist Church, said the Bruce Windsor they knew was nothing like the Bruce Windsor who walked into the bank last February and handed a three-page typewritten note to an employee. Windsor said the bank was surrounded by men with AK-47s who were prepared for “all hell to break loose.”

Windsor pleaded guilty in October to bank robbery and brandishing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Windsor, who was the only person involved in the crime, held two bank employees hostage for about an hour and a half. Another bank employee hid under a desk.

Nobody was hurt.

Windsor's fellow parishioners also spoke of his nine mission trips, his giving money to others in need.

Brushy Creek's Pastor Ralph Carter told the oourt Windsor was the most thoughtful husband he had ever encountered.

Windsor's 12-year-old daughter Abby also spoke, tearfully describing how her father always tucked her in at night and how painful his absence has been. She apologized to the bank employees and said she couldn't imagine the terror they experienced that day and was sorry they had had to go through it,

"I think I may know a little bit how you feel," she said.

She then addressed her dad.

"I will love you forever."

Bank employees told the court they were tired of hearing that Windsor was a fine Christian man because their experience had been the opposite.

Teller Lorraine Wiggs said she had been in other bank robberies before, including one where an AK-47 was pointed at her, but this robbery was a worse experience.

Windsor's wife Heather also spoke, saying she was sorry she didn't recognize her husband's mental illness. She thought he was just "down and out with depression."

"If I had acted earlier we wouldn't be here today," she said.

She, too, turned to address her husband.

"You felt like a failure and a burden. You've never been a burden. Even now your life is meaningful," she said. "We used to have a happy home. Now there's a lot of tears."

Judge Floyd told the court no one would be happy with the sentence. But because he believed the robbery was planned and that Windsor did not "snap," he believed the 130 months was the appropriate decision.

"By the time you've served yours sentence your children are going to be grown or almost grown," said Floyd before handing down the sentence.

After the sentencing Art Seaver, president of Greenville First, said it's been a difficult situation.

"We continue to feel for our team and his (Windsor's) family as well," said Seaver.

Jeanne Howard, the assistant U.S. Attorney who handled the case, said the robbery was the most violent she has ever prosecuted.

During his guilty plea in October, Windsor told a judge he was suicidal at the time of the roberry.

“I thank God I didn’t die because of this," he said


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Comments
Add New
someone  - I wish.....   |2010-01-14 13:36:35
Bruce Windsor is guilty. He did a bad thing and he and his family will have to
live with that for the rest of their lives. I will have to live with it the rest
of my life, though it doesn't effect me as deeply. I know how things are. I have
met Mr. Windsor. He was a kind man and a good Christian. Being a Christian
doesn't nor should it lighten his sentence. Christian or not he must face the
consequences for his actions. I cannot tell the entire story here because I
don't know everything. But there is no reason for people to hate him for what he
did. People make bad decisions, nobody's perfect. Most people form opinions
about him before they know the full story. Nobody denies that Mr. Windsor made a
mistake. Nobody should. I wish he hadn't done it, I wish things were different
but wishing doesn't get me anywhere. The hostages say that they're tired of
hearing about how he's a Christian and how good of a man he is. The truth is I'...
Franco Conte  - My friend Bruce   |2010-02-04 10:26:49
I am Italian. I met Bruce 20 years ago in Milan, I was a university student, he
was a boy who worked like a model (for Armani fashion). Along with other boys of
all nationalities, we shared an apartment and a season of dreams and hopes. I
remember our long conversations before going to sleep, his healthy lifestyle and
that came to see my family in Verona (I still have the photo) and his smile. I'm
sorry for what happened to his family that I never had the pleasure to know, I'm
sorry for those who have been suffering, but a man like Bruce deserves a second
chance. Justice is not the Truth. God bless Bruce.
T  - I was too..   |2013-03-02 10:39:08
Franco,

I was at the wedding with you..and remember our time at ihop.

I knew
him well. We had years together working, playing sports, laughing.

This
situation is sad.

The order in which I feel sorry for all involved ...
continues to be confusing.

My heart goes out to all who feel pain.

Til we
talk again-
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