2016-09-22 / Courts

No charges yet for bank robbery


WILLIAM MINORE, who was accused of stealing a car and is suspected of robbing a bank in Empire on Sept. 7, appeared for a probable cause hearing in shackles in 86th District Court on Tuesday morning with his pubic defender, Traverse City attorney William Burdette. WILLIAM MINORE, who was accused of stealing a car and is suspected of robbing a bank in Empire on Sept. 7, appeared for a probable cause hearing in shackles in 86th District Court on Tuesday morning with his pubic defender, Traverse City attorney William Burdette. A 69-year-old Benzonia man suspected of robbing the Empire Huntington Bank branch at gunpoint on Sept. 7 had a probable cause conference on Tuesday, though no plea deal was offered.

William F. Minore is currently being held in the Leelanau County Jail on a charge of unlawful driving away with an automobile for his alleged theft of a Kia Soul from Glen Arbor on the same day.

His cash/surety bond is set at $1 million. On Tuesday, Minore requested a reduction in his bond. His request was denied by Magistrate Norene Kastys.

The robbery took place at about 1:30 p.m. when a man dressed in black and armed with a silver handgun walked into the bank and demanded money. After receiving cash, he left through a back door.

Minore was picked up about 24 hours later at a home in Interlochen. He was identified as the man who allegedly stole the Kia through surveillance video that deputies obtained of him walking toward the vehicle, which was parked on Western Avenue in front of Art’s Tavern.

The vehicle, which was later recovered, is owned by an employee at Art’s.

Minore is also suspected of making two false 9-1-1 calls just before the bank was robbed, at 1:26 p.m. and a few minutes later. Those calls reported a shooting at the Leelanau School and an armed robbery taking place at Honor Bank in Lake Ann.

Leelanau County Prosecutor Joseph T. Hubbell has said he does not know when Minore will be further charged. His office is continuing to review evidence.

Minore is being represented by his court-appointed attorney, William G. Burdette of Traverse City.

Unlawful driving away of a vehicle is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

His preliminary examination on the charge is set for Sept. 27.

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