Two Gwinnett County natives were sentenced Monday after they robbed a Bank of America in Acworth last year.
The women received a lot of attention and were nicknamed the Barbie bandits, according to news reports, because they had blonde hair, wore designer sunglasses and jeans while robbing the bank.
Ashley Miller, 19, was convicted of theft and drug distribution. She was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years, but, of course, she wasn't required to serve the entire 10 years behind bars. Miller will only serve two years behind bars, and the rest on probation. She will also have to pay $2,500 in restitution
Her partner in crime, Heather Johnston, 20, received 10 years probation with community service and a minimum $2,000 fine and $2,500 in restitution.
I don't get this. These two women, who reportedly were strippers on Buford highway, robbed a bank and laughed about it on camera, and this is all the time that they get?
This is ridiculous.
However, the story gets better. A man named Benny Herman Allen, III, was a teller at the bank. Allen supposedly told the women what to write on the note and gave the women the money.
He was sentenced to the 10-year maximum. He has to serve five years behind bars and pay $2,500 in restitution.
I understand that the three people broke the law. But why did Allen receive the most time behind bars? He didn't put a gun to the women's heads and force them to rob the bank. They did it willingly.
On top of all of that, these women are grown, and obviously thought this whole thing was a game. They didn't look frightened on the video tape. They looked as if they were shopping in the mall for shoes.
If these young women are capable of making the decision to become a stripper and become involved with using drugs, why aren't they perceived as capable of robbing a bank?
I think all three of the people involved should have had equal sentences. I think these young women got off easily, because they weren't in the typical "criminal" attire. They didn't look mean or gritty. They actually appeared innocent, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving.
Jaya Franklin covers government for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.