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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

California Man Sentenced to 37 Years for Attempted Bank Robbery, Discharging Firearm

Jackson, TN – A California man who shot a woman twice during an attempted bank robbery has been sentenced to more than three decades in federal prison. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.

"Dominic Williams’ greed and reckless disregard for human life led him to shoot a law-abiding citizen and attempt to rob a federal bank," said U.S. Attorney Stanton. "This stern sentence is a clear reminder that individuals who decide to commit violent acts in our community will face severe consequences."

According to information presented in court, Dominic Williams, 37, of Los Angeles, California, snuck into the carport of Pamela Janeice Frisbee on the morning of March 18, 2015. Frisbee, a manager of a BancorpSouth bank, was at her home in Humboldt, Tennessee, preparing to leave for her job. When she exited her house and walked to the carport to get into her car, Williams was hiding in front of the vehicle with a Glock .40 caliber pistol. He stood up and pointed the gun at Frisbee before asking her if "she wanted to die today?"

Williams forced Frisbee into the driver’s seat of her vehicle at gunpoint and demanded that she drive to BancorpSouth. Once at the bank, Williams forced her to open the doors — the establishment had not yet opened — and the two went inside. He had her disable an alarm, and demanded she obtain money from the tellers’ drawers. The victim responded there was no money in the drawers. Williams then demanded that she open vaults in the bank to obtain money. When the victim told him that she was unable to open the vaults, he fired multiple shots at her, striking her in the chest and arm. Frisbee subsequently fell to the ground and played dead. Williams then shot and kicked out the back windows of the bank and fled.

Independent witnesses and bank employees notified the Humboldt Police Department (HPD) of the incident. After arriving on the scene, HPD’s chief of police observed Williams stripping clothing off into a dumpster a block from the bank. The police chief was able to arrest him, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was notified.

After Frisbee was airlifted to a Memphis hospital, FBI investigators responded. Williams was advised of his Miranda rights which he agreed to waive. He provided a recorded statement, informing FBI agents of where he hid his firearm and admitted that he attempted to rob the BancorpSouth bank. FBI agents subsequently recovered the .40 caliber pistol used in the crime. And clothing consistent with witness descriptions of the robber was recovered, as well as a mask and a roll of duct tape.

Frisbee was able to testify in federal court that she was kidnapped, forced against her will, assaulted, and that a firearm was discharged inside the bank.

"This sentence should send a resounding message that violent crimes will not be tolerated, and that law enforcement will not rest until the offenders are caught, prosecuted and held accountable for their actions," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeremy N. Baker of the Memphis Field Office of the FBI. "I commend the Humboldt Police Department for their immediate response to identify and arrest this bank robber, and the professionalism and partnership of all involved throughout the investigation to bring him to justice."

Humboldt Police Chief Rob Ellis said: "I am grateful that our victim is doing well after such a horrendous act committed against her. I pray this gives her some closure and wish her all the best after what she has overcome. I also appreciate the help from the FBI, Gibson County Sheriff's Department, 28th Judicial Drug Task Force, Humboldt Fire Department, Gibson County EmergencyMedical Services, Humboldt Area Rescue Squad, and all others that assisted during the incident."

In August 2016, Williams pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen to single counts of attempted bank robbery, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and felony possession of a firearm.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Judge Breen sentenced Williams to 444 months in federal prison. He will also be required to pay $66,719 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the HPD.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Wilson prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated January 25, 2017