A man arrested for a Bluffton robbery in 2014, who has been in a Toledo psychiatric hospital ever since, has been sentenced to prison.
On Oct. 21, 2014, Bluffton police told The Courier that Brian Matheny, then 43, of East Jordan, Michigan, entered the Chase bank branch at 135 S. Main St. at 8:56 a.m. and presented tellers with a note. The note threatened an explosion if his demand for money was not met, according to police.
A teller complied with the note and handed over an undisclosed amount of money, police reported.
Matheny drove north on Interstate 75, and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers soon followed. Matheny exited the highway in Findlay and attempted to set himself on fire, police reported. Troopers extinguished the flames and arrested Matheny, who was charged with robbery.
The Lima News reported that court documents show that Matheny used a Molotov cocktail to rob the bank, but Matheny told Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed on Thursday that he had no intention of harming anyone but himself.
Matheny has had mental health issues since 1996, when he first started hearing voices, the Lima News reported.
He has been held at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo since the robbery, after initially being deemed incompetent to stand trial, the Lima News reported. But doctors there determined last year that his competency had been restored and he was fit to stand trial on the single first-degree felony count of aggravated robbery.
The Lima News reported that Matheny’s attorney, Thomas Lucente, told the judge prior to sentencing that his client benefited greatly from his time in the Toledo mental hospital and “I don’t think prison will help him or society in general.”
But Reed said the danger to others he presented by carrying the Molotov cocktail into the bank was too serious to overlook, the Lima News reported.
Matheny was ordered to serve a prison term of seven years, with credit given for the five-plus years he has spent in the mental hospital.