Washington area pro golfer Richard Edward Meissner Jr., 33, was sentenced to serve the maximum jail term of 25 years today after he pleaded guilty to charges of robbing two banks, one in Virginia and one in Maryland.
Federal Judge Joseph H. Yong denied a request by Meissner's lawyer that he be allowed to remain at his Olney, Md., home with his family for Christmas, saying that Meissner "is in real need" of immediate and intensive psychiatric help offered at the federal jail in Danbury, Conn.
Young sentenced Meissner under a statute that will allow him to be paroled at any time at the discretion of the parole board without serving minimum time in jail. Psychiatrists reported in presentence reports that they believe Meissnerwill need at least two years of intensive treatment, said Meissner's attorney, Leonard T. Kardy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Christopher Ohly told Young that Meissner, who had been a junior champion golfer and a golf pro and instructor at several Washington-area country clubs, had obtained "more than $100,000... none of which was ever recovered" by robbing 19 banks in seven states from June, 1977, through June, 1978.
Kardy said Meissner spent the money supporting his family and buying gifts for people. He said Meissner was a constant loser on his last Professional Golfers Association tour.
Meissner pleaded guilty Sept. 15 to a charge of armed robbery involving the Bethesda branch of Maryland National Bank. After he began cooperating with prosecutors, he told them he thlought he was being followed after he robbed the bank June 7 so he tossed the bag containing $13,650 out of the window of his 1976 Cadillac. That money was never recovered.
Meissner also pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to a charge of bank larceny involving the United Virginia National Bank in Vienna. That charge alleged that Meissner got away with $10,607 on Dec. 5, 1977.