YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A sentencing memorandum in federal court for a man who pleaded guilty to robbing a downtown bank says he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the 2020 murder of his girlfriend.
The memorandum, filed in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio on behalf of Phillip Whitman, 46, says that he hopes Judge Solomon Oliver takes that into account when he is sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in July to a charge of bank robbery.
“Mr. Whitman’s physical condition, while he has shot and stabbed over the years, is good at this time,” the memorandum said. “It is Mr. Whitman’s mental health that he would request this court consider in sentencing him.”
Whitman pleaded guilty for Nov. 22 robbery of First National Bank on West Federal Street. Court records state that Whitman stole approximately $1,300 and drove eastbound away from the bank on Federal Street.
Whitman gave a teller a note that said “Cash or gun. Don’t B hero,” according to the sentencing memorandum.
According to the criminal complaint, Whitman’s vehicle was identified as having a dent.
Records show that a Cadillac similar to that used in the bank robbery was located on the East Side of Youngstown.
Whitman was arrested on November 25.
Whitman’s attorney, Nathan Ray of Akron, said Whitman, a father of six, witnessed his girlfriend’s murder in 2020 and managed to disarm the gunman. Since then, he has been diagnosed with PTSD and prescribed medication. He said his client wishes to receive both counseling and mental health treatment.
Whitman was also a heavy drug user up to the time of his arrest, Ray wrote to the court.
Ray said he is objecting to a sentencing enhancement sought by the government that Whitman had threatened to kill someone if his demands were not met. Ray wrote that the note Whitman gave the teller a note but never showed a gun or said orally that he had a gun.
Ray wrote that Whitman’s sentence should fall in the range of 57 to 71 months.