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Appeals court throws out 45-year prison sentence for man in Detroit-area bank robberies

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DETROIT — An appeals court has thrown out a 45-year prison sentence for a man who was convicted of directing a drug addict to rob four Detroit-area banks.

The court says a judge didn't explain why Arthur Payton deserved a sentence that was well beyond the guidelines of 17 to 22 years. The case is returning to Port Huron federal court.

The robberies occurred in Wayne and Oakland counties in 2011. The woman who carried out the robberies says she was dropped off near banks and told to pass a threatening note to the teller.

It was the third time since the 1990s that Payton had been convicted of bank robbery. Federal prosecutor Doug Salzenstein warned that the 46-year-old Payton "cannot stop and will not stop" robbing banks.

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