Man indicted in gruesome jail guard attack gets 70 months for Maine bank heist

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Joshua Strickland; Date of image: 12/04/2020 (Police mugshot)

PORTLAND, Maine - An area transient indicted last month in a string of cringe-worthy assaults on jail staff was sentenced on Thursday in federal court for robbing a Portland bank in 2019.

Joshua Strickland, aka Ash Strickland, 36, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was also orderd to pay $13,994 in restitution.

According to court records, on Jan. 3, 2019, Strickland entered the Bank of America branch in Portland and approached one of the tellers, handing her a note that read, "This is a robbery. I have a gun. If I feel like you are trying anything I will start shooting people." Strickland demanded that the teller provide $5,000. He then fled to Las Vegas, Nev., where he was arrested.

Strickland pleaded guilty on July 27.
The Strafford County indictments accused him of four counts of Assault by Prisoner and two counts of Assault by Prisoner: Aggravated Harassment. Each charge carries a maximum prison stay of seven years.

All of the charges stem from an Aug. 26 incident in which, according to the indictments, "she did cause or attempt to cause (two jail employees) to come into contact with blood by expelling such substance indirectly at (the employees) when, with blood in her hair, she shook her head several times sending blood particulates all over (jail staff) after being told multiple times to stop."

Strickland identifies as a woman, according to Strafford County Jail Supt. Chris Brackett.

Strickland is also accused of punching two jail officers in the head, slamming a chair on a guard's head and picking up a chair and ramming it into another guard.

Brackett said the alleged attacks had a decidedly negative effect on jail personnel.

"Anytime my staff are exposed to something like this I am not happy," he said the day after the indictments were handed down. "But I believe in the scales of justice - a person is innocent until proved guilty, but there is substantial evidence that Mr. Strickland should be held accountable for his actions."

Strickland is listed as a registered sex offender/predator in Florida, where he was convicted in February 2018 for lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim under 16; and in July 2019 for failing to report. Both cases were adjudicated in Santa Rosa County.

The Florida sex offender registry reports his last known home as being in Portland as of Jan. 6, 2020. A registry spokesman said Strickland identified as a man while in the Florida penal system.

Assistant Strafford County Attorney Samantha G. Kotusky, who is listed as prosecutor on the indictments, told The Rochester Voice in late December that Strickland was being held on federal charges and was thought to be awaiting transport by U.S. Marshals.

As of today, however, Strickland was still being held at the Strafford County Jail.

Kotusky was not immediately available for comment on how the Strafford County Attorneys Office would proceed with the recent indictments now that Strickland is expected to begin the federal sentence.

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