Robbery suspect competent for trial |

Robbery suspect competent for trial

by Sheila Gardner
Douglas County Sheriff's Office

A 26-year-old man accused of stealing more than $105,000 from Bank of America on Topsy Lane is competent to stand trial, but his attorney requested funds for more psychological testing.

Jarell Williams is accused of entering the bank branch on Jan. 4, shortly after noon, and demanding $260,000, or he would blow up the bank with explosives he said were taped to his chest.

He told employees he had a handgun and 10 pounds of explosives.

Williams is charged with robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, and making threats or conveying false information concerning acts of terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, both felonies.

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.

No one was injured, and authorities recovered $105,500 when Williams was arrested later that afternoon.

District Attorney Mark Jackson said Tuesday that bank officials had been contacting him “almost daily” for the return of the money which has been held in evidence.

Williams’ attorney, Kris Brown, agreed to stipulate the money had been held as evidence, and could be released to the bank.

Court documents indicate Williams was wearing a fake improvised explosive device taped to his chest complete with wiring and a wrist switch. Witnesses say he was wearing all black when he ran into the bank.

Once he got the money, Williams allegedly 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.

His next court appearance before District Judge Tod Young is March 19. He is in Douglas County Jail on $300,000 bail.

n A Gardnerville man was sentenced to up to three years in prison on Monday for stealing a bicycle.

Daniel M. Simons, 24, was sentenced to 12-36 months after he admitted to one count of felony theft from a person.

Simons wrote a letter to the victim in which he apologized for the attack.

Attorney Derrick Lopez said Simons learned he was going to be a father and wanted to get out of prison so he could be a father to the child.

“Drinking and then getting into a confrontation because you found out you were going to be a father is ridiculous,” Gibbons said. “It’s lucky no one was armed. If someone had a weapon this could be much worse.”

According to court documents, Simons was arrested Dec. 1 after he walked up to two men in a Gardnerville Ranchos park and asked for a lighter. When the men said they didn’t have one, he hit one and took his bike. They called deputies who caught Simons.

Simons was given credit for 87 days time served.

n A 26-year-old California man admitted to possession of marijuana on Monday in a nearly four-year-old case.

Joel Phillip Grosskopf is seeking to participate in a drug program.

In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act are to be dismissed.

On April 20, 2009, investigators discovered a marijuana grow operation with 40 plants and paraphernalia at Grosskopf’s home in the 3500 block of Arcadia Drive in Jacks Valley.

Investigators recovered 40 live marijuana plants, two electric ballasts, three high-intensity grow lights, an electric timer, a handwritten list of marijuana plant names, a glass jar of processed marijuana and a CD with photographs.