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Bank-Robbing Granny Pleads Guilty!

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- An elderly grandmother who robbed a bank with an unloaded pistol to help her financially strapped son pleaded guilty Thursday after prosecutors agreed not to pursue a mandatory five- to 10-year prison sentence.

Marilyn Devine, 76, of Baldwin, could still get a prison term when she is sentenced June 27, but her relatives and attorney hope she receives probation.

"I don't think she's a threat to society," relative Susan McDade said. "She doesn't belong in prison. She's a good soul. This was just a tremendous act of desperation to try to help someone in need. Misguided, but she didn't hurt anybody."

Devine held up a National City Bank branch inside a supermarket in West Mifflin, a Pittsburgh suburb, on March 6, 2006, prosecutors said. She robbed two tellers of nearly $6,000 and then led police on a 45 mph chase through a residential neighborhood.

Authorities recovered the money.

"Mrs. Devine was suffering from depression and anxiety herself when this happened," attorney Noah Geary said. "Her youngest son called and said he was going to do himself in if he didn't come up with some money. He was in dire financial straits. ... She felt trapped and helpless, had no access to any moneys."

Devine's husband, Raymond, a retired warehouse worker, said his wife has taken out $25,000 to $30,000 in loans in recent years to help their son. Raymond Devine said he learned about those loans only when his wife failed to make payments on them.

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