Monday, June 14, 2021

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Accused bank robbers to appear in court

The trial for accused bank robber Michael G. Jones Jr. that was scheduled to begin this week has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Jones’ trial would have been the second since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly five months ago. The first trial ended abruptly on July 30 after a juror came down with multiple and serious symptoms of the disease, said Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson.

Jones, 50, of Woodland, has been in custody at the Colusa County Jail since last October, and has pleaded not guilty to the crime. He is scheduled to appear in court today for the resetting of his trial, possibly 60 days from today.

Meanwhile, court proceedings have only just begun for a second man, John Williams III, 41, also of Woodland, who was recently extradited to Colusa County after a stay in state prison, where he was serving time on unrelated charges.

Williams has not yet entered a plea and is scheduled to appear in Colusa County Superior Court today with a defense motion to dismiss the charges or hold trial within 90 days.

Both men are accused of walking into the Umpqua Bank around 4:39 PM, on July 5, 2019, and using a handgun to make off with more than $2,000 each from two bank employees.

Jones was arrested at his home on Oct. 6 on a felony warrant obtained by the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office in late September, after DNA evidence linked him to the crime, officials said. Wiilliams was arrested on Oct. 7 by the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office.

According to testimony at Jones’ preliminary hearing, earlier this year, a witness said he saw two masked men with guns enter and leave the bank.

The Arbuckle resident then flagged down Fire Chief Casey Cox, who alerted the Sheriff’s Office. A Colusa County deputy located and pursued a reported stolen Toyota Tundra southbound into Yolo County, where Williams is believed to have jumped from the pickup as it came to a stop, avoiding capture by fleeing on foot, according to testimony.

Jones, believed to be the driver, reportedly continued southbound until he abandoned the vehicle in an orchard south of County Road 2, west of County Road 88, near Dunnigan, and also escaped on foot.

Both men are charged with second-degree robbery, two special allegations involving the use of a firearm, grand theft auto, receiving stolen vehicle, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jones is also charged with evading a peace officer with disregard to public safety.

Both men have lengthy criminal histories, court records in multiple counties indicate, and both remain in custody at the Colusa County Jail.

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