His first note to her was part of a bank robbery. His next was to apologize

A man who robbed a Lakewood bank last year was sentenced Tuesday to five years, nine months in prison.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin gave 51-year-old Keith Williams a midrange sentence for the heist.

On Dec. 28, Williams gave a teller at a Chase Bank branch in Lakewood a note that read he had a gun and wanted cash. Then he took off with the money.

Police found him minutes later at another bank in the area. They recognized that his height — 6 feet 4 inches — and clothing matched the robber’s description.

As part of negotiations with prosecutors, Williams pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and unlawful gun possession. The gun possession charge was for a firearm in Williams’ house. He is not allowed to have guns, because of prior felony convictions.

His plea deal included an apology letter to the bank teller.

“This was a mistake that I so terribly wish that I could take back,” Williams wrote the teller. “But I cannot.”

He told her he’d had mental and emotional struggles in life, but knew his personal problems didn’t justify his actions.

“I am truly sorry and hope that you can forgive me though I know that I am not entitled to your forgiveness,” he wrote.

He ended the note with: “I hope that life will be good for you and that what I put you through will not cause you anymore pain. I will forever be sorry for the pain I have caused you.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell