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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - August 28, 2009

RALEIGH ARMED ROBBER SENTENCED TO 226 YEARS

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday, Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced KENDRICUS MARQUELL WILLIAMS, 21, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 2,719 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. The Court also imposed restitution in the amount of $4,456.51 and a fine of $25,000.00. WILLIAMS was deemed an Armed Career Criminal, which increased the penalties he received.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 11, 2008, charging numerous counts of Hobbs Act robbery, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On May 8, 2009, after a week-long trial, a jury found WILLIAMS 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.

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.

WILLIAMS was the last participant to be convicted in connection with the June 11, 2008, Indictment. Co-defendants Jesse Bundy and Daniel Sanders had previously pled guilty to their role in WILLIAMS’ string of armed robberies.

Mr. Holding commented, “This defendant was particularly violent as he acted out his crime spree. 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.

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