2016-10-06 / Courts

Minore bound over during exam

Still no bank robbery charges
By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff


WILLIAM F. MINORE is shown walking in front of Art’s Tavern on the day a car was stolen and a bank was robbed in Empire. The photo was taken from a video that Minore’s attorney declined to have shown during his client’s preliminary exam. WILLIAM F. MINORE is shown walking in front of Art’s Tavern on the day a car was stolen and a bank was robbed in Empire. The photo was taken from a video that Minore’s attorney declined to have shown during his client’s preliminary exam. A 69-year-old Benzonia man suspected of robbing the Empire Huntington Bank at gunpoint was in 86th District Court on Tuesday for a preliminary examination on a charge of unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle.

William F. Minore was then bound over for trial and pleaded not guilty to the charge at his Circuit Court arraignment by Judge Larry J. Nelson.

Minore has been in the Leelanau County Jail since Sept. 8, when he was arrested for allegedly driving off in a Kia Soul parked in Glen Arbor.

Minore has not yet been charged in the bank robbery. Leelanau County Prosecutor Joseph T. Hubbell has said his office is reviewing evidence collected from Minore’s home and vehicle by police and FBI agents and putting together its case.

Minore’s bond is set at $1 million. A pretrial conference has been set for Oct. 24.

On Tuesday, William G. Burdette, Minore’s court-appointed attorney, said Minore was approached on Sept. 7 by someone who asked him to move his car. Burdette told the court that Minore moved the wrong car, which turned out to be the Kia Soul that was parked on Western Avenue in front of Art’s Tavern. The keys were apparently in the vehicle and Burdette said that Minore drove the Kia around the block and parked it in front of Cherry Republic on Lake Street.

The vehicle, which belonged to Thomas Taylor, an employee of Art’s, was later found on Lake Street.

Hubbell offered to show the video tape the prosecutor’s office has taken into evidence that allegedly shows Minore getting into the Kia and driving away.

Burdette declined.

Detective Bob Bailey also testified as to what was found in Minore’s Benzonia home via a search warrant. Bailey testified that clothing and property that matched what the man driving the Kia Soul was wearing was found in the home.

That evidence has been sent to the Michigan State Police crime lab.

Grand Traverse County also has a hold on Minore, who will be charged there with two counts of possession/ sale of a taser for two ‘stun’ guns that were allegedly found in his vehicle at the Interlochen home where he was arrested Sept. 8.

Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich has also said just under five pounds of marijuana were found in Minore’s car and in his Benzie County home.

That marijuana will likely lead to Benzie County charges of possession with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house, Borkovich said last week.

Police have not released how much money was taken from the bank or if it has been recovered.

The bank robbery took place at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, when a man dressed in black and armed with a silver handgun walked into the Empire branch of Huntington Bank and demanded money. He then left the bank with an unspecified amount of money.

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