Bank heist suspect pleads not guilty |

Bank heist suspect pleads not guilty

Twice convicted of bank robbery and already prison-bound, a Grass Valley man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a third bank heist.

Steven Mark Williams, 39, of Grass Valley is accused of robbing Placer Sierra Bank in Glenbrook Basin last June 11 – a day after escaping from the Auburn jail with another inmate.

He had already been convicted in Nevada County Superior Court of robbing El Dorado Savings in Grass Valley in January 2000 and was facing trial for a heist at the Bank of America branch in Auburn that same month.

Already facing 60 years to life in prison, according to his public defender, Richard Wilcox, Williams is ready to plead guilty to second-degree burglary in exchange for dismissal of the robbery charge.

Wilcox said the plea bargain would save taxpayers’ money and, on the outside chance the state’s three-strikes law is repealed, give Williams a chance at freedom in old age.

Williams’ Auburn robbery case was also resolved with a second-degree burglary plea, Wilcox added.

That likely won’t happen here, said Deputy District Attorney Jim Phillips. He said prosecuting Williams for anything less than bank robbery would send the wrong message.

Williams next appears for a preliminary hearing April 16.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User