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Accused kidnapper/bank robber pushes for jury trial
WELLS FARGO KIDNAPPING

Accused kidnapper/bank robber pushes for jury trial

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RACINE — One of the four suspects charged in last year’s alleged kidnapping of a Kenosha woman and her children and subsequent robbery of a Racine Wells Fargo Bank, asserted that he wants his case to be heard before a jury, against his counsel’s advice.

George K. Pearson-Robb, 20, of Milwaukee is accused, along with two others, of following a Racine Wells Fargo employee to her home and kidnapping the woman and her two children. The three allegedly drove her and her 2- and 5-year-old daughters to Milwaukee and held them overnight in a basement. The next morning they allegedly went to the Racine bank to rob it before it opened.

At Pearson-Robb’s plea hearing on Friday, his attorney, Odalo Joseph Ohiku, stated that his client wanted to proceed with a jury trial despite Ohiku’s advice to take the state’s offer of a plea deal.

“I don’t think it’s a trial case,” Ohiku told Racine County Circuit Court Judge Faye Flancher. “I think it’s a poor decision.”

Assistant District Attorney Thomas J. Coaty stated that if Pearson-Robb proceeds with a trial, the state’s offer of a 30-year plea would be withdrawn.

Flancher read to Pearson-Robb all of the charges he is facing and the penalties he could face should he be convicted. He faces one charge of armed robbery with threat of force, three charges of kidnapping and one charge of robbery of a financial institution.

“You know what you face now going into trial,” Flancher said. “And you know what the state’s offer is and that the state’s offer is no longer on the table.”

Pearson-Robb’s final pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 5. The trial has been scheduled for Oct. 20-22.

Alleged accomplices

William Q. Howell, 20, and Donterious L. Robb, 24, also are accused of the kidnapping and robbery. A fourth defendant, Lamarra Powell, 19, is charged as a party to the crime since she reportedly was aware of the kidnapping. At one point, Powell allegedly went down to the basement during the night to give the woman and her children blankets and cushions while they were held captive.

All four were arrested on July 8, 2019.

Howell had a plea and sentencing hearing on June 8 where, according to court records, the defendant rejected the state’s plea offer of 30 years. His attorney, Laura Ann Walker, withdrew as his counsel.

As of a status hearing on July 21, Howell had not been appointed new counsel. His final pre-trial and jury trial dates set to be scheduled once Howell is appointed a new attorney.

Robb had plea hearings scheduled for April 24 and then July 10, both of which were rescheduled. On July 7, the defense filed a request for adjudication, which would allow the judge to reach a decision based on the evidence presented. His next plea hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Aug. 14.

At a plea hearing on June 12 conducted via ZOOM, Powell’s attorney, Julius Andriusis, requested another date be scheduled for the hearing. Coaty, again representing the state, did not object. No plea offer had been finalized. Powell’s next hearing is a status conference scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 3.

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Reporter

Christina Lieffring covers the City of Racine and the City of Burlington and is a not-bad photographer. In her spare time she tries to keep her plants and guinea pigs alive and happy.

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