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Ex-con who wanted to return to prison may get fresh start

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A homeless and unemployed ex-convict who robbed a bank hoping he’d be sent back to prison appears headed for a fresh start.

The (Munster) Times reports a pretrial diversion agreement offered by prosecutors Wednesday calls for 53-year-old David Potchen to avoid a felony robbery charge and face a misdemeanor conversion charge that will be dismissed within a year if he stays out of trouble.

Defense attorney Stephen Scheele says Potchen has two job offers waiting for him once he’s released from custody.

He also has an apartment that’s within walking or biking distance of one of the jobs.

Potchen told a judge last month he was desperate after losing his $11-an-hour job and room at a Gary motel.

He also served time for a 2001 bank robbery in Hammond.