Suspected Leelanau Co. Bank Robber Shares His Story In Letter

A Benzonia man charged with robbing a bank and stealing a car in Leelanau County says he was set up.

He sent his own version of events to 9&10 News in a letter.

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

Now he’s charged with armed robbery.

Deputies say he held up a bank in Empire the same day he stole the car.

Tuesday afternoon a judge decided Minore’s case will go to trial.

Several people testified saying he matches the description of the robber.

They also agreed that his voice is the one heard in 911 diversion calls made that day.

But Minore sent a letter to 9&10 News telling a different story.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson share what Minore has to say.

Tuesday afternoon William Minore was in court and found out that he’ll be going to trial for his charges of armed bank robbery and stealing a car, but a few weeks 9&10’s Caroline Powers received a letter from him. Going around his attorney, he details out his side of the series of events. We’ve had someone else read his words.

The letter begins, "Caroline, I gave the enclosed statement and letter to Mr. Burdette in court on December 1 asking him to make copies in the courthouse… I got a 3 sentence rewrite in the mail from him 5 or 6 days later that basically said I am innocent 3 times. Interesting, huh? I am sorry it took me so long to get this to you but I am literally fighting this nightmare with both hands and legs tied behind my back (chains in my case).”

Four pages written out by William Minore, denying that he robbed the Huntington Bank in Empire with a gun.

The letter continues, "my only hope at this point seems to be for the real robbers to rob another bank while I am in here."

Minore was arrested September 8, 2016, the day after the bank robbery.

At first, investigators were only able to link him to a stolen car taken in Glen Arbor just before the robbery in Empire.

Minore says he was asked to move that car by someone having a medical emergency.

Minore wrote, "I am now convinced that individual and the individual who picked him up are the Empire robbers and knew that the vehicle was under video surveillance and used me for a patsy."

Minore says he also does not match the physical description of the man investigators say is him in the surveillance video, and he hopes people in Glen Arbor will help him clear his charges.

"Anybody who knows me knows how ridiculous these charges are,” the letter states.

Minore has a pre-trial scheduled for January 19 in Leelanau County Circuit Court.