A purse-snatching attempt that evolved into an armed robbery charge in 2011 lands a Neptune Township 49-year-old in prison for life.

William Sanborn was sentenced pursuant to New Jersey's "Three Strikes" law, which mandates accelerated punishment for repeat violent offenders. Sanborn had been convicted and sentenced for armed robbery in 1982 and 1992, says Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.

According to court records, Sanborn tried to grab a woman's purse as she walked along Cookman Avenue while he was aboard a bicycle. Authorities say a struggle erupted and she was knocked to the pavement.

The incident was spotted by Asbury Park Police Officer John Sarno, who then tried to apprehend Sanborn. Authorities say Sanborn flashed a knife at the patrolman before being subdued. The victim required hospital treatment for injuries.

Sanborn was convicted after a trial that lasted about a month, says Grammiccioni.