Police Say Armed Robber May Have Wanted Back in Prison

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 30, 2014) – Grand Rapids Police say the man who robbed a liquor store at gunpoint Monday is a convicted killer.

Though the robbery at Butterworth Party Store was with a toy gun, it seemed very real to store clerk Peter Mollhagen.

“He came in here with a gun and jumped over the counter and I didn`t even realize it was there and he jumped up, give all your money,” he said.

Mollhagen had no idea the man police say is responsible, Paul White is a convicted killer.

White has a lengthy criminal history including a second-degree murder conviction.  He went to prison at age 18 and was released in September after serving 18 years.

Mollhagen says the robbery seemed pre-planned.

“(He) seemed like he’s an expert at this, seemed like he knew exactly what to do,” he said.

Police say prison is the only life White knew.  While behind bars he married a corrections officer who worked to get him released on parole in Grand Rapids.

Police anticipated a tough transition into the community for White, which may have become harder after splitting with his wife.

Despite being helped by the “CLEAR” program through the Grand Rapids Police Department, who got him an apartment and several jobs, he was in an unknown city and nothing stuck.

Police think White may be responsible for up to four recent robberies and wonder if this was his attempt at going back to prison.

Paul White is set to be back in court May 9.

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