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Posted on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Man who robbed a Chase Bank after being released from hospital sentenced to 2-15 years

By Chelsea Hoedl

The 32-year-old Ypsilanti man who allegedly robbed the Chase Bank on Huron River Drive immediately after his release from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital was sentenced to 2-15 years by the Washtenaw County Trial Court Thursday.

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Joshua Dettlaff

Joshua Dettlaff was charged with one count each of armed robbery, bank robbery and unarmed robbery. He pleaded guilty, but mentally ill and was sentenced by Judge David S. Swartz to 2-15 years in prison, and will be credited with the 547 days already served. Court costs and attorney fees were waived.

According to Ypsilanti police, Dettlaff had been arrested on a minor warrant. He was released to Huron Valley Ambulance and was transported to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township where he was treated and released on Jan. 26, 2012.

Police said immediately after Dettlaff was released from the hospital, he walked to the Chase Bank nearby and told a teller he had a gun.

Dettlaff left the bank and was arrested by the Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety and deputies from the Washtenaw County Sherriff’s Office along Hewitt Road, officials said.

According to state records, he previously was convicted for third-degree home invasion and attempted unarmed robbery in Saginaw County, as well as two counts of stealing a financial transaction device in Eaton County.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at



Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

He saw his bill.........

Honest Abe

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.



Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

Something does not add up, or the article is missing something. He was arrested on Jan 26 when this occurred, but was given credit for 547 days served? If this happened Jan 26th, 2013 and he spent every day since in custody, he would have spent 187 days in custody. If this happened a year earlier and he has been in custody since 1-26-12, then it would have been 553 days served. Did he really sit in jail for over a year and a half awaiting a plea-bargain in this case?


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

chapmaja: " Will he receive treatment for his illness or will be thrown to the wolves in prison so to speak?" Yes, if a person pleads guilty but mentally ill, the law requires the state to provide treatment. "If the defendant is committed to the custody of the department of corrections, the defendant shall undergo further evaluation and be given such treatment as is psychiatrically indicated for his or her mental illness or retardation." MCLA 768.36 (3) " I can understand the mental illness taking longer issue, but a year and a half? " There's no time limit on mental illness. Nothing can be done until the defendant is competent to stand trial, and that can take literally years of treatment. For example, the infamous Ed Gein was arrested in 1957 for murder. He wasn't found competent to stand trial until 1968. There are probably a few people in the Center for Forensic Pyschiatry that have been there for years, because they've never been found competent to stand trial.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

Ok, this does make sense then. Now, the next question. Will he receive treatment for his illness or will be thrown to the wolves in prison so to speak? I can understand the mental illness taking longer issue, but a year and a half? To me this seems like excessive feet dragging on someone's part.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

chapmaja: The crime occurred in January, 2012. Mental illness defenses take a considerable amount of time. First, the state has to prove that the defendant is competent to stand trial, which requires a psych evaluation and, if necessary, treatment until the defendant becomes competent to stand trial. When this man first appeared in court, he tried to plead guilty and refused to accept the court-appointed counsel. Given his history, the court probably ordered a psych eval to determine whether he was competent to stand trial. Once the defendant is competent to stand trial, both the prosecution and defense will have to get another set of evaluations to determine whether the defendant was legally insane at the time he committed the crime. All that takes time, during which the defendant is either in a psychiatric treatment center or a jail. So, yes, it's possible to sit in jail for a year awaiting trial if there are issues of mental competency to stand trial and a defense of legal insanity.

Bob Needham

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

The incident was Jan. 26, 2012. I'll add that, thanks


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

Hate to join the Nitpickers League, but is it still "allegedly" since he pled guilty? I'm all for "innocent until proven guilty", but he kind of admitted to it.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 2 p.m.

He pleaded guilty but mentally ill. Maybe he admitted to something he doesn't know if he did or not since he was mentally ill? That's the only way I see see "allegedly" being used in this article.

Maria Huffman

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

I'd hate to have been his discharge planner...

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

Now he gets free health care

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

my first comment assumes he is actually mentally ill. If he he is just a two bit criminal then I guess we keep locking him up.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

The question is, how do we best deal with folks like that in America? I don't have an answer.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

He may already have Medicaid...who knows? He is mentally ill and no doubt not working. And as he has already served 1 1/2 yrs of his sentence so he many not have much longer to serve. This is one of those cases that seems hopeless. :-(