by Sheila Gardner

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January 7, 2013
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Bank robbery suspect faces up to 55 years in prison

A 26-year-old transient, who reportedly stole more than $100,000 from Bank of America by threatening employees with a fake explosive device taped to his chest, faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted of all counts.

Jarell Ryan Williams appeared Monday in East Fork Justice Court to hear charges against him which include robbery with use of a deadly weapon, and making threats or conveying false information concerning acts of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, legal agent or toxin.

He is being held in Douglas County Jail on $300,000 bail.

According to court documents, Williams is accused of threatening to use a handgun or detonate two bombs to extort $260,000 from the Bank of America branch at Topsy Lane on Jan. 4 shortly after noon.

He is accused of taking more than $100,000 from the bank but a specific amount has not been disclosed.

The money was recovered and the explosive device Williams had duct-taped to his chest was a hoax, according to reports.

There were no injuries.

According to reports, he told employees he had a handgun, 10 pounds of explosives and would blow up the bank if he wasn't given $260,000. He demanded to be taken to the vault.

Court documents indicate he was wearing a fake improvised explosive device taped to his chest complete with wiring and a wrist switch.

"Why am I being charged with use of a deadly weapon if I didn't actually have any weapons on me?" Williams asked East Fork Justice Tom Perkins on Monday.

Perkins advised Williams that anything he said could be held against him, and said it was up to the state to prove the charges.

He told Williams to discuss the matter with his court-appointed attorney, Kris Brown.

Williams reportedly was wearing all black, and ran out of the bank to a church parking lot where he got into a white two-door sedan and drove away.

Witnesses who heard the call on the police scanner saw the suspect allegedly pull into a private driveway on Highway 395 north of Johnson Lane where he was taken into custody.

According to reports, Williams' prior contact with law enforcement involved illegal door-to-door sales for which he received a warning.

Williams said Monday he had no money, was unemployed and lived in Gardnerville with his girlfriend.

District Attorney Mark Jackson said if convicted, the suspect would face up to 15 years in prison on the robbery charge plus a 20-year consecutive enhancement on the weapons charge, and up to 20 years on the threats charge.

Williams' next court appearance is Jan. 16.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 8, 2013 11:32AM Published Jan 7, 2013 03:01PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.