Accused bank robber pleads not guilty

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A preliminary hearing has been set for Nov. 13 for one of two men arrested in connection to the armed robbery of Umpqua Bank, in Arbuckle, in July. 

Michael Gene Jones, Jr., 49, of Woodland, pleaded not guilty to the crime in Colusa County Superior Court on Oct. 30. 

A second man, John Williams III, 40, is also charged in connection to the case but is still awaiting extradition to Colusa County from San Mateo County. 

Jones Jr. was arrested in Yolo County on Oct. 6 on a felony warrant obtained by the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office in late September. 

He was transported to Colusa County and charged with second-degree robbery, two special allegations involving the use of a firearm, grand theft auto, receiving a stolen vehicle, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Jones and Williams are accused of walking into the Umpqua Bank around 4:39 PM on July 5 and using handguns to make off with an undisclosed amount of money. 

The Colusa County Sheriff’s office obtained multiple leads that led to Jones and Williams’ arrest. 

Jones, the apparent driver of the get-away vehicle, is also charged with evading a police officer with willful disregard to the public safety. 

Jones reportedly fled sheriff’s deputies but managed to dump the vehicle and get away on foot. ■