Case for accused bank robber moves forward

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Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson denied the request from an accused bank robber to fire his public defender. 

Michael Gene Jones, Jr., who is accused of robbing the Arbuckle Umpqua Bank last summer, appeared in open court Jan. 8 for the setting of his trial when he requested a Marsden hearing, a rare circumstance in a criminal proceeding in which a defendant can communicate directly with the judge. 

Jones, 49, is one of two men accused of brandishing handguns to rob two tellers on July 5. The pair reportedly led deputies on a high-speed pursuit, before they managed to evade capture by dumping their stolen vehicle and fleeing on foot through an orchard. 

A second man, John Williams III, 40, also of Woodland, is charged in connection to the robbery but remains in San Mateo County on other criminal matters. 

DNA found on the inside and outside of a glove discovered in the orchard matched that of Jones, investigators said. 

Following a closed Mardsen hearing last week, the court found insufficient cause to replace Jones’ court-appointed attorney.  

Jones is scheduled to appear in court today for the setting of his trail. 

His attorney, Albert Smith, had requested additional DNA information in November, which Chief Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell confirmed had arrived last week. ■