Empire Armed Robbery Suspect Will Go To Trial

“He told us that if we hit any alarms he was going to kill us.”

That was just one of the four witnesses that testified Tuesday as a judge decided whether William Minore should go to trial for the armed robbery of a bank.

William Minore was originally arrested and charged in September with stealing a car in Glen Arbor.

But now he’s charged with armed robbery, accused of holding up a bank on that same day in Empire back in September.

In October a judge agreed to car theft case to trial.

In December investigators say they tied him to the robbery, and Tuesday a judge agreed to move that case to trial too.

Nine and Ten’s Megan Woods takes us inside the courtroom to hear more from witnesses and learn what happens next.

“I just did what he said.”

Brian Tripp was just one of the Huntington Bank staff threatened with their life during the Empire robbery.

“I could just make out he was kind of yelling at the tellers, but I couldn’t really make out exactly what he said right when he walked in. From what I was seeing I could see the weapon and I can see the umbrella when he first came in.”

The prosecutor brought up William Minore’s ex-girlfriend, Kerri Wosek who says his voice matches the 911 diversion caller.

She asked her mother and husband for their opinion and they agreed, it was Mr. Minore, “It was all over the news, they were asking if people from the public if they’ve recognized anything to let them know and I had heard it and I thought it was him.”

The prosecutor, Joseph Hubbell, brought two more witnesses to connect a stolen car and the armed robbery, the car owner and the detective, along with surveillance videos and 911 calls.

He says, “I think it’s important a jury gets the whole picture and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that if someone is going to rob a bank that they would go and take another car.”

And despite the judge’s approval to move to trial Minore’s lawyer William Burdette says he wants a motion for two separate trials.

“The prosecutor has this theory that this Kia was used as a getaway car but it wasn’t, there’s no evidence that there ever was. Nobody saw him driving the car to the bank when the robber left the bank, nobody saw him getting into the Kia, the Kia’s not even connected; they’re separate there’s nothing connecting them at all."

William Minore is due back in court January 19.