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UPDATE: Sentencing delayed for man who robbed Williamstown Bank in 2017

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 3:28 PM EDT|Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 1:38 PM EST
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UPDATE: 2/19/21 1:30 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -The sentencing for a man who robbed the Williamstown Bank in 2017 is on hold after his attorney filed a motion to withdraw from the case.

William “Billy White Shoes” Johnson of Lancaster, Ohio, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in December and was scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning in Wood County Circuit Court.

A new court hearing has been scheduled for March 18, according to a spokesman in Judge J.D. Beane’s office.

Johnson has a long history of involvement in bank robberies in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and charges are currently pending in Washington County in connection with the October 2020 robbery at the Citizens Bank branch in Marietta.

UPDATE: 12/18/20 12:15 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - An Ohio man pleaded guilty Friday morning in Wood County Circuit Court to robbing the Williamstown Bank in October 2017.

William “Billy White Shoes” Johnson of Lancaster, Ohio, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in a plea hearing in front of Judge J.D. Beane.

Johnson was under indictment for the Williamstown robbery when he allegedly robbed the Citizens Bank in Marietta in October. He was taken into custody in Wood County shortly after that robbery and is expected to face additional charges in that case in Washington County.

Authorites said Johnson has been linked to several bank robberies in the area through the years, including one at the same Citizens Bank Branch that occurred in January 2002 during a string of three robberies that month. He pleaded guilty in November 2002 to a robbery in Barlow.

Johnson’s sentencing for his guilty plea to the Williamstown robbery is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 19.

UPDATE: 10/23/20 11:30 A.M.

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - A fugitive who police said has ties to numerous bank robberies in the Mid-Ohio Valley through the years was arrested Thursday night in Parkersburg just hours after a robbery at the Marietta branch of Citizens Bank, Marietta Police said.

According to police, William “Billy White Shoes” Johnson, 55, of Lancaster, Ohio, was arrested about 9:30 p.m. at a business in Parkersburg after authorities determined he had been staying at a motel in West Virginia.

The robbery happened about 2:30 p.m. Thursday when police said an armed man wearing a rubber mask forced his way into the bank at 110 2nd St. N. Police said he forced his way behind the counter and took cash from the teller drawers before running out of the bank and going across 2nd Street.

Marietta Police Capt. Aaron Nedeff said investigators were able to identify Johnson as a suspect after looking at surveillance images and through information sharing with other law-enforcement agencies.

Items stolen from Citizens Bank, including “a substantial portion of the stolen cash were found in his possession,” Nedeff said, adding that police also recovered a black bag from his vehicle that appeared to be the one used in the robbery.

“This is a perfect example of how MOV law enforcement, by working together, got the robber identified and captured within seven hours," Nedeff said in a news release Thursday morning, noting that members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Police, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and the Parkersburg and Williamstown police departments all assisted in the investigation

According to police, Johnson has been linked to several bank robberies in the area through the years, including one at the same Citizens Bank Branch that occurred in January 2002 during a string of three robberies that month. He pleaded guilty in November 2002 to a robbery in Barlow, police said.

At the time of his arrest on Thursday, police said Johnson was wanted as a suspect in a similar robbery of the Williamstown Bank branch that occurred in October 2017. He also was wanted on a parole violation in Ohio.

ORIGINAL STORY: 10/22/20

Marietta police are looking for a man suspected in an armed robbery Thursday afternoon at the Citizens Bank branch on 2nd Street.

A Marietta Police Department spokesman said authorities are looking for a white man wearing blue pants, a red hoodie and black gloves. He was also wearing a Halloween mask made to resembling an old man.

The man, who was armed with a handgun, fled on foot, and Police Chief Rod Hupp said he ran in the direction of the Layfayette Hotel before turning toward the Ohio River.

Hupp said anyone who may have seen a suspicious-looking person in the Greene Street area about 2:20 p.m. should call call Marietta Police.

No injuries were reported, and authorities haven’t said how much money was taken in the robbery.

Marietta Police and Washington County Sheriff’s Office units remained at the bank late Thursday afternoon, and police crime-scene tape was blocking one entrance to the bank.

This is a developing story and we will updates online and during WTAP News. To view additional digital coverage, click here.

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