Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Court filing details carnage of fatal bank robbery

ST. LOUIS - A man accused of killing two Illinois bank workers and critically wounding a third during a botched robbery attempt - stabbing one of them more than 50 times - told officers he "made sure" they would die, investigators say in an unsealed court filing.

In an application for a search warrant, made public Tuesday and first reported by St. Louis' KMOV-TV, investigators say James Watts slashed the throats of the three women during the May 15 attack at a First National Bank branch in Cairo, Watts' hometown along the Ohio River in southern Illinois.

During a standoff leading to his arrest hours later, Watts was allowed to call his mother and told her, "I killed that woman," FBI Special Agent Christopher Trifiletti wrote in the search-warrant application. Trifiletti did not specify which victim Watts was referring to, but one of the slain women was a witness in a 2009 forgery case in which Watts pleaded guilty.

Watts, a 30-year-old convict and registered sex offender, is charged with attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The federal charges include special findings making the death penalty possible if he's convicted, though prosecutors are weighing whether to seek that punishment.

Authorities allege that Watts, armed with a gun and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, confronted the three women as they emerged from the bank they had closed for the day, roughly two weeks after Watts' release from prison.

According to Trifiletti, the suspect forced the women back inside but, because the bank was closed, was unable to get any money from the holdup. He ultimately herded them into an employee lounge, cut each woman's throat "deeply" and stabbed one of them more than four dozen times, Trifiletti wrote.

Killed were 52-year-olds Anita Grace, of Olive Branch, Illinois, and Nita Jo Smith, of Wickliffe, Kentucky. A 23-year-old woman survived.

Surveillance video showed the suspect put the women's purses into an SUV belonging to one of them and fled, and police found the victims a short time later in the bloody bank lounge.

Watts was arrested on an Ohio River train trestle hours later after he led police on a high-speed chase, FBI Special Agent I.A. Bratcher said.

Trifiletti wrote that after the standoff, Watts "asked law enforcement officers, 'Are they dead?' In an effort to calm him down, agents falsely told him that the employees were not dead. Watts responded, 'Yes they are. I made sure of it.'"

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha e16eb88804134a3a942fd018ee3d570c
Top Classifieds
  • AKC Shih-Tzu Vet checked, $600 731-3 ... Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • CHARLES SMITH CONCRETE REPAIR &RE ... Details
  • Cash for Farms (270)339-8680 Details
  • Bedroom Suites New in Boxes. 6pc. che ... Details
  • Seasoned Firewood. 270-243-5815 Details
  • 5 Broiler Houses80 acres irrigated pa ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't b ... Details
  • Owner Financing, new 3000sq ft,in Mar ... Details
  • 375 Acre Farm in Ballard County D ... Details
  • FHA, USDA, VA & Conventional Loan ... Details
  • 05 CHEVY MALIBU $2500(270) 388-5983 Details
  • '06 Lincoln Truck One of the ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Student helps further bullying bill
  2. Vikings clip Falcon wings on road
  3. Last Oregon occupiers surrender
  1. Chihuahua saves family from fire
  2. Some things better not to know
  3. Last Oregon occupiers surrender
  1. Student helps further bullying bill
  2. Vikings clip Falcon wings on road
  3. Last Oregon occupiers surrender
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...