FBI transfers Williams to face federal charges in bank heist

LIHU‘E — David Verden Williams, Jr., the man charged with the robbery Wednesday of the American Savings Bank in Lihu‘e, was sent to O‘ahu where he will face federal charges.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officers transferred Williams on Monday from Kaua‘i Police Department custody to an O‘ahu facility, where he is currently undergoing a Pretrial Services interview and is expected to make an initial appearance for a Grand Jury indictment, according to KPD.

Williams had been scheduled for a Monday arraignment before Fifth Circuit Court, but Deputy County Prosecuting Attorney Jake Delaplane said a weekend discussion with federal attorneys resulted in the transfer.

Delaplane said the Prosecutors Office is still considering to file charges, and they have a guideline to use that will determine whether the crime is prosecuted following the federal trial. He said the state may decide to try when they present a stronger case than in federal court, and if they are in better position to meet the needs of the victim.

The state also has the luxury of waiting for the federal case to conclude and then decide whether to press state charges.

Williams, 35, from Sacramento, Calif., is accused of walking into the bank Wednesday at about 1:10 p.m., then passing a note to the teller demanding money while pointing an unknown object at her from under his shirt. The robber left with an undisclosed amount of cash, much of which was reportedly recovered at St. Regis Princeville Resort from the suspect’s room and belongings, according to KPD.

KPD handled the investigation before federal law enforcement agencies were in place to begin investigating as they have jurisdiction with crimes involving financial institutions. KPD arrested Williams without incident Thursday evening at the North Shore resort, where he had been staying since Wednesday.

Williams is a repeat offender including a first degree terroristic threatening charge in 2003 that lost an appeal in Honolulu First Circuit Court in 2006.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or by emailing tlaventure@ thegardenisland.com.

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