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Father-Son Crime Spree Gets Teen Life in Prison

June 7, 1995 GMT

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) _ A teen-ager who went on a crime spree with his father _ robbing banks and killing a police officer _ has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole.

Theodore Oswald, 19, showed little emotion during his sentencing hearing Tuesday.

``If time is an apology for those who wish for it, I’ll do it,″ Oswald told Judge Lee S. Dreyfus.

He sentenced Oswald to two life terms plus 565 years, making him ineligible for parole until 2095.

During his trial, Oswald admitted guilt but said his abusive father forced him into crime, preparing him for the ``dark life″ from childhood and threatening to kill him if he didn’t participate.

Dreyfus said Oswald’s diaries showed that he was fast becoming the leader of the father-son crime team that robbed a bank on April 28, 1994 in the village of Wales, just west of Waukesha.

``You were there to get as much money as you could, and if you hadn’t been stopped then, there would have been another one and another one and another one,″ Dreyfus said.

Theodore Oswald was convicted of 19 felony counts including first-degree intentional homicide, hostage-taking, robberies and attempted murders.

His 50-year-old father, James, was convicted of 20 similar counts and was sentenced last week to two life terms, plus 625 years in prison.

Wisconsin has no death penalty. The Oswalds will go to different prisons.

Most of the charges stem from the 1994 bank robbery and the ensuing chase and gun battle that ended with the Oswalds’ arrests. The two also were convicted of robbing credit unions in 1993.

After the bank robbery, Police Capt. James Lutz pursued the Oswalds’ stolen getaway car and pulled up behind it after it stopped. The Oswalds _ who wore bulletproof vests _ got out and opened fire on Lutz with semiautomatic rifles.

The robbers then commandeered a van and led authorities on a chase that ended when they crashed into a tree at a roadblock. Their hostage safely jumped out of the vehicle.