A decorated Navy veteran from Hager City, Wisconsin in Pierce County was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul Monday to 11 years in prison in connection with the robbery of a credit union in Red Wing. He hid in the Mississippi River for nearly eight hours after the robbery before being caught. Last May 41-year-old Mark Samples was convicted of the armed robbery in which he took more than $70,000.
Samples claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a 1987 Iraqi attack on the USS Stark, in which 37 sailors died. Samples moved Stinger missles from the fires on board, and spent 13 hours spraying water on the missles as flames raged nearby.
He fled Wisconsin in 2002 with his young son shortly before his trial was to begin. Samples and his son were found in a farmhouse in Ohio in September, 2003.