LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — William Etheridge, 56, pleaded guilty on Monday to 11 counts of bank robbery, carjacking, and escape, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich announced.
According to court documents, on May 18, 2017, Etheridge escaped from the Northwest Regional Reentry Center, a contracted correctional facility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Oregon, where he was in custody for a federal bank robbery conviction. Shortly after his escape, between June 2, 2017 and July 19, 2017, Etheridge robbed nine banks in Oregon and Washington, and attempted to rob another bank in Oregon.
On July 25, 2017, Etheridge, armed with a black pellet gun, stole $18,120 from a WestStar Credit Union in Las Vegas. He then demanded a ride in one of the victim tellers’ cars. When none of the tellers volunteered to provide him with a ride, he told one of the tellers to leave the bank with him. Upon leaving the bank, Etheridge used force and violence to carjack a vehicle with two victims inside.
At Etheridge’s request, the victims dropped him off at a motorcycle dealership in Las Vegas to purchase a motorcycle for use as a getaway vehicle. Shortly thereafter, law enforcement arrested Etheridge at the dealership.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Dickinson is prosecuting the case.
Etheridge was investigated in three federal jurisdictions for his crimes, including the District of Nevada, the Western District of Washington, and the District of Oregon.
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Etheridge is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey on January 27, 2020. Etheridge faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250 fine for the bank robbery charge; 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the carjacking charge; and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the escape charge. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.