FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - May 11, 2009
RALEIGH ARMED ROBBER CONVICTED
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on May 8, 2009, a jury found KENDRICUS MARQUELL WILLIAMS, 21, of Raleigh, North Carolina, guilty of 19 charges relating to a string of nine armed robberies which he committed in the Eastern District throughout January, February, and March of 2008. Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan presided over the week-long trial.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 11, 2008, charging numerous counts of Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1951; using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c); and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1).
Evidence presented at trial revealed that on February 29, 2008, WILLIAMS shot a victim during the robbery of the Quality Food Mart in Wake Forest. The 9-1-1 call, played during the trial, showed the victim pleading for help after having been shot in the stomach by WILLIAMS with a big gun. Co-defendant Jesse Bundy testified that he heard a shot while WILLIAMS was in the store, and that WILLIAMS then ran out of the store and told him, “Go! Go! Go!”. They then sped from the scene in Bundy’s car. A 9-1-1 call, made by WILLIAMS was played at trial, in which WILLIAMS states, “A dude got shot in the store.” Testimony also showed that the next day, WILLIAMS traveled to Kinston where he was seen handing out cash to various friends.
Other victims testified regarding their accounts of other robberies WILLIAMS committed. Among them was the victim of the eighth robbery, a One Stop Mart on Milbrook Road, on March 9, 2008, who was a store clerk and whose daughter was sitting at the counter next to the victim when the robbery, by WILLIAMS, occurred. Also testifying was the victim in the ninth robbery, on March 11, 2008, at a Han-Dee Hugo’s, on Buffaloe Road in Raleigh, who stated that WILLIAMS pointed the gun at the victim’s head, pulled back the hammer, and said, “Give me the money or I’ll blow your [expletive] brains out.”
A crucial part of the trial was WILLIAMS’ confession on March 11, 2008. In his opening statement, WILLIAMS claimed he was only 21 and could not have committed all of these crimes. The evidence showed, however, that WILLIAMS admitted to five different detectives that he had committed the crimes and attempted to gain sympathy from them by telling them that he had a son who needed a kidney transplant. At trial, however, the Government played recordings of prison phone calls in which WILLIAMS admitted to telling the police he had committed the crimes because he knew they were going to get his fingerprints anyway. WILLIAMS also admitted in the prison phone calls that the police “bought” his story about a son needing a kidney transplant and that was the story he was sticking with.
For each count of robbery, WILLIAMS faces up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For each charge under Title 18 United States Code, Section 924(c), the maximum penalty is up to a life term of imprisonment consecutive to any other prison term imposed under Count I, a fine of up to $250,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to five years of supervised release. For unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the maximum penalty is up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up $250,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to three years of supervised release. If WILLIAMS is deemed an Armed Career Criminal, the penalty increases to up to a life-term of imprisonment.
Mr. Holding commented, “This is one of our answers to the increase in crime in the area that was reported last year in the news. We will continue to work with other government agencies to identify and prosecute those who use violence against other citizens in our community.” This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Wake County Sheriff’s Office; the City County Bureau of Identification; the Raleigh Police Department; the Wake Forest Police Department; the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications; the Wilson Police Department; the Bailey Police Department; and the Middlesex Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys William Gilmore and Dennis Duffy served as prosecutors for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.