Back in 2011, James Verone walked into a bank in Gastonia, North Carolina. He handed the bank teller a note demanding one dollar.
He then casually took a seat and waited for police to arrive. Verone wanted to go to jail.
He was sick and he says he knew he would receive health care there without any cost to him.
"The whole day, I thought, I got to come off like a nice guy because I'm not doing this to make any money," said Verone. "I think I came off as nervous, because I was nervous."
He laughs now, but he was desperate at the time. The 59-year-old feared he had pancreatic cancer.
"The six places that I went to get taken care of, I could not get anyone to take care of me," said Verone. The retired delivery driver couldn't get healthcare and his slew of ailments left him unable to work.
His savings were gone, and in his mind, his only chance for free healthcare would have to come from behind bars.
"Everything that they did for me was specific and well understood, but only to the limit that they can do things," said Verone.
His plan was to stay in jail until he turned 62, then he would be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
But after spending one terrible year in jail, he struck a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor larceny and was released based on time served.
Now, he's writing a book about his experience, which he hopes will generate some income.
While he still has some regrets about his decision, he believes it was worth it to make his point.
"Yes, it was worth it. I had no other direction to go. I was afraid for my life," said Verone.
Verone learned in jail that he didn't have cancer, but he still has significant health problems.
If you're concerned about your health and you don't have insurance, there are legal options. The Affordable Care Act website will walk you through all coverage options currently available to you.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:50:22 GMT
MOORE, OK (RNN) – In one of the few positive stories to come from the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, an elderly woman was reunited with a four-legged friend she thought was dead. Barbara Garcia, a residentMore >>
Elderly resident Barbara Garcia frantically called for her dog after the tornado had leveled her house, but with no success.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:20 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:20:17 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:10:13 GMT
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.According to Detective Don Martin, the firstMore >>
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
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