Second bank robber gets 1,256-year sentence

LANCE BENZEL Updated: January 2, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: January 2, 2013

A Colorado Springs man convicted of robbing seven area banks while on parole was sentenced Wednesday to 1,256 years in prison.

Gary Cyprian, 30, declined to address the court and betrayed little emotion as the eye-popping-penalty was announced.

Facing a minimum of 192 years, he received the maximum.

Cyprian, a repeat felon, and Daryl Keener, his accomplice and former cellmate, were convicted last year at separate jury trials focusing on a 2011 robbery spree in Colorado Springs and Fountain. Police say they took turns donning masks and robbing the banks to make it appear that only one man was involved.

The scheme unraveled when the men were linked to a getaway car captured on commercial surveillance footage as it fled a March 3, 2011, robbery at Key Bank, 1115 Elkton Drive in Colorado Springs, police said.

Keener, 33, also a repeat felon, received an identical penalty at his sentencing in July – startling the city’s criminal defense community.

Fourth Judicial District Judge David S. Prince, who imposed the penalties, said at Wednesday’s hearing that his hands were partly tied by Colorado’s harsh penalties for repeat felons.

Because both men qualify as “habitual felons” under the law, they face quadrupled penalties. The multiplier applies to each person threatened during the robberies – or 17 – and to each bank robbed.

Getting to more than 1,200 years, however, required Prince to choose to stack those sentences into a cumulative total rather than roll all seven robberies together for a single triple-digit sentence.

In handing down his ruling, Prince noted that any penalty he imposed would amount to a life sentence for Cyprian. He said he made a “policy decision” to recognize all victims from all robberies, rather than sentence him for some of them.

Said lead prosecutor Carissa Cruson: “We’re satisfied. We think it’s appropriate.”

Cyprian’s attorney, Jennifer Stock of Colorado Springs, argued in court the sentencing was disproportionate, noting that killers receive less time.

“We’re getting into some ridiculous numbers here,” she said after the hearing.

According to the Colorado Department of Corrections website, Keener will be eligible for parole on Dec. 23, 2911.

Contact Lance Benzel: 636-0366 Twitter @lancebenzel

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