Accused bank robber to stand trial

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Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson ruled Nov. 13 that there is sufficient evidence for a man, whom law enforcement said walked into the Arbuckle Umpqua Bank last summer brandishing a gun and robbed the teller of $2,300, to be bound over for trial. 

Investigators testified last week that DNA found on the inside and outside of a glove, which was recovered after the July 5 robbery, matched that of Michael Gene Jones, Jr., 49, a previously convicted felon in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, and that a search warrant served on his Woodland home turned up a handgun and clothing that matches video survelience footage of the robbery. 

Jones is one of two men accused of robbing Umpqua Bank and leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit, before both managed to evade capture by dumping their vehicle and fleeing on foot through an orchard. 

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

The robbery occurred in the late afternoon when a witness reported that a masked man had entered the bank with a handgun, followed by a second masked man with a handgun, and demanded the two tellers to put their hands up and open their cash drawers. 

Colusa County Sheriff deputies testified during Jones’ preliminary hearing that evidence points to Williams as the first man, who left the bank with $2,200, and Jones as the second man to enter the bank. 

According to testimony, a witness at the bank’s ATM saw the two masked men enter with guns drawn and then exit the bank and flee in a tan Toyota pick-up, later found to be reported stolen from Sacramento International Airport. 

A deputy testified that the witness was also able to flag down Arbuckle Fire Chief Casey Cox, who first initiated the vehicle pursuit. 

Jones will be formally arraigned on Dec. 4 on second-degree robbery with special allegation for using a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and evading a police officer with willful disregard to safety, among other charges. 

A shotgun, unconnected to the Umpqua Bank robbery, was also recovered from Jones’ home, officials said. ■