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Despite guilty plea, feds drop armed robbery case against 17-year-old

Updated: April 16, 2013 4:13PM



Deandre Williams was set to receive his sentence Thursday afternoon for helping in the armed robbery of a Gary gas station in December 2011.

He had pleaded guilty in the case, his family had written letters to the judge on his behalf and attorneys on both sides of the case had laid out their arguments for how much time he should serve.

Instead, the federal case against Williams, 19, of Gary, was dropped Thursday because he was 17 when he helped rob Harrison Gas and Convenience, at 1564 Harrison St.

Federal authorities usually do not charge juveniles if the case can be handled at the state court level.

According to court records, U.S. District Judge Philip Simon ordered during the hearing Thursday that Williams, who has been in custody since his arrest in May, be released on bond,

Simon also ordered attorneys in the case to file briefs concerning the issue within 30 days. Shortly after the hearing, federal attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Williams, which Simon granted.

When asked if more charges from Lake County could follow, Williams’ attorney, Clark Holesinger, said after the hearing that the case was done.

Williams admitted to the FBI that he and an unnamed man, who was armed, went to the gas station on Dec. 23, 2011, and stole about $300. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of armed robbery.



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