Career criminal sentenced to 52 years in prison

With 34 convictions under his belt, Frank Uhyrek receives 52-year sentence

SPOKANE, Wash. - Uhyrek sentenced

Spokane County prosecutors slammed the door Friday on Frank Uhyarek, who was given an exceptional 52-year sentence for his long criminal career.

Uhyrek has been a problem for police on both sides of the state for two decades but committed his last armed robbery here in Spokane. Prosecutors say since Uhyrek turned 18 there was just a five month period of when he was either behind bars or running from the law.

On Friday a Superior Court judge decided the only way to keep him from claiming additional victims was to lock him up until he's too old to hurt anybody.

Any time he's out of his cell, Uhyrek is considered a flight or fight risk. Four corrections deputies started guarding him after they found a 300-foot handmade rope hidden inside his mattress.

Uhyrek may have started stitching together an escape plan when he learned prosecutors were seeking an exceptional sentence against him.

"Despite the fact that he's been incarcerated, almost his entire adult life, he has never the less been rack up 34 convictions," Deputy Prosecutor Tony Hazel said.

In his most recent robbery, Uhyrek held a knife to the throats of four Safeway employees. The holdup happened within a week of his latest release from prison.

"The defendant will take extreme risk to himself and to other members of the community in order to commit crimes and what that tells the state is there are no tools in our tool box other than incarceration effective in protecting the public," Hazel said.

Uyhrek's defense attorney argued his client didn't deserve 75 years when some killers get 20 but the court couldn't overlook Uhyrek's criminal history and settled on 52.

Uhyrek is 37 years old, which means he could be in prison until he's 88. That does not account for deductions Uhyrek could get through good time but because he is infamous for his bad behavior in our jail he may not earn any good time at all.