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The man who robbed a Sauk City bank with a butcher knife last summer will spend the next 10 years behind bars.

During a sentencing hearing Monday in Sauk County Circuit Court, attorneys disagreed about whether Kevin C. Breon, 53, of Cazenovia, should spend much of the rest of his life in prison for robbing the Heritage Credit Union on June 22.

“When I’m not addicted to drugs, I’m probably the nicest person you’ll ever meet,” Breon told the judge just before his sentence was handed down, adding that he wished he had the opportunity to apologize directly to the bank teller he threatened that day. “I’d give you the shirt off my back.”

Breon pleaded no contest in January to felony armed robbery. In court Monday, the prosecutors argued for a 15-year prison sentence, plus another 15 years of supervised release. The defense requested a five-year term of incarceration, plus 10 years probation.

Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Klicko took a middle road, imposing a sentence of 10 years prison plus 10 years of probation.

This was Breon’s second bank robbery conviction. In 2004, he threw a device on the floor of the State Bank of Cazenovia, said it was a bomb, and made off with more than $7,000 before he was captured.

While arguing for a 15-year prison sentence Monday, Sauk County Assistant District Attorney Dennis Ryan said Breon had shown he is incapable of change, and blames his life choices on an addiction to heroin.

Ryan said Klicko shouldn’t give weight to Breon’s concern that a 15-year sentence would make it likely that he dies in prison. “Balance that against the prospect that those tellers had when they were lying face down on the floor,” Ryan said.

Authorities said after Breon made off with $5,500 from the Sauk City credit union, he went to Madison, where he spent the next several days gambling and living out of hotel rooms.

Investigators caught a break after Breon hit a $1,400 jackpot. The casino told him he needed a valid identification to collect his winnings, and so he went to a Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles office to renew his license.

A DMV employee was alerted that Breon was a suspect in the Sauk City robbery, and stalled him until officers arrived to take him into custody.

Breon’s attorney, David Susens of Baraboo, said Monday that his client has taken responsibility for his actions, and can be reformed if given the chance with a holistic treatment plan. He said Breon’s lack of preparation in carrying out the robbery shows that he is not a cold, calculating criminal.

“It was a desperate and poor decision in a series of desperate decisions,” Susens said in arguing for a five-year sentence.

Breon still was on probation in the 2004 bank robbery case when he committed the Sauk City robbery, and is likely to receive additional time in that case. That sentence will be consecutive the one handed down Monday.

Klicko said Breon’s crime had serious impact on the victims, and that armed robberies have become all too common due to the number of people struggling with substance abuse.

She encouraged Breon not to give up on his desire to reform himself and have a positive impact on society.

“What I would say to you, Mr. Breon, is that you can have that positive impact on whatever community you are in,” Klicko said. “That is initially going to be the prison system.”

Breon will have to maintain sobriety, undergo assessments and treatment, pay restitution, and may have no contact with his victims.

Follow Tim Damos on Twitter @timdamos

Reporter for the Baraboo News Republic.