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The original item was published from 5/1/2018 1:46:24 PM to 11/2/2018 12:05:03 AM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: May 1, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Jury Convicts Ezra Keith Williams

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Office of the District Attorney – Maggie Fleming, District Attorney


May 1, 2018

On April 30, 2018, a jury convicted Ezra Keith Williams of three counts of felony second degree robbery. The charges stemmed from the robberies of Umpqua and Tri-Counties banks in Henderson Center in Eureka and another at the Subway restaurant on Myrtle Avenue, all between December 23, 2016 and January 20, 2017. In all three incidents, two perpetrators wore masks and displayed firearms, which were later determined to be BB guns designed to mimic standard handguns. Through review of video and examination of additional physical and digital evidence, an investigation led by Senior Detective Ronald Harpham of the Eureka Police Department (EPD) linked Mr. Williams and Rocky Karl Keene to the robberies. EPD arrested Mr. Williams on February 1, 2017. Mr. Keene fled Humboldt County, but was later arrested out of state on a Humboldt County felony warrant and fresh out-of-state criminal charges.

Mr. Keene was extradited to Humboldt County in September 2017 and pled guilty to two counts of felony second degree robbery in November 2017. He is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for his robbery convictions. Mr. Keene had a minimal criminal record before the 2016/2017 robberies.

Mr. Williams’ criminal trial included his admission of two prior violent-felony convictions (“strike priors”) for two second degree robberies in March and April 2010. In addition to the potential application of the “three strikes” law, Mr. Williams’ prior prison sentence for the earlier crimes provided the basis for “special allegations” which could lengthen his current sentence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5th, 2018.

Mr. Williams’ just-completed trial began on April 9, 2018 and included over 20 witnesses - the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office greatly appreciates the time and effort of the jury. The investigative team included officers from both EPD and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy District Attorney Brent Kling prosecuted the case with the assistance of District Attorney Investigators Gary Cooper and Martin Perrone.

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