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Baton Rouge Police detectives including Cpl. Justin Becnel, left, escort Kevin Maurice Williams, 52, right, from BRPD headquarters Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, after Williams was arrested earlier Wednesday. Williams is accused of using a handgun to rob Chase Bank, 2828 Monterrey Blvd., the morning of January 16, 2018. BRPD Sgt. L'Jean McKneely, Jr., background, said that information from members of the community was of vital help in the investigation.

A Baton Rouge man convicted of robbing a Chase Bank on Monterrey Boulevard at gunpoint in 2018 has been granted a new trial because the verdicts were not unanimous.

An East Baton Rouge Parish jury, by votes of 11-1, found Kevin Maurice Williams guilty in October 2019 on two counts of armed robbery with a firearm.

Williams, now 56, was sentenced two months later by state District Judge Beau Higginbotham to consecutive 80-year prison terms, for a total sentence of 160 years. The judge noted that Williams was a fifth felony offender.

But last year the U.S. Supreme Court used a New Orleans case to outlaw non-unanimous jury verdicts, and on Monday the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal cited that ruling in throwing out Williams' convictions and sentences and ordering a new trial.

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The state conceded that Williams was entitled to a new trial on both armed robbery counts.

In the Chase Bank robbery, Williams is accused of entering the bank at 2828 Monterrey Blvd. on Jan. 16, 2018, and demanding money. He allegedly grabbed money from the cash registers and ran away.

Williams, who allegedly wore sunglasses and a bandanna to cover his face, left the bank with $12,580 after pointing his gun at employees and demanding money from the cash registers, an arrest report says.

He was previously arrested in 2000 in connection with an armed robbery of Hibernia National Bank in Baton Rouge.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.