Bond denied for suspect accused of stabbing 2 bank employees to death

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 5:43 PM

2 dead, 1 injured in southern Ill. bank robbery

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BENTON, Ill. -- A judge has denied bond for a convict suspected in the stabbing deaths of two southern Illinois bank employees during a botched holdup.

Twenty-nine-year-old James Watts of Cairo is being held without bond over a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The decision was made during a detention hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Benton.

Police say Watts entered the First National Bank of Cairo through a side door on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. armed with a knife and a handgun.

While inside the bank, Watts allegedly stabbed the branch’s president, Anita Jo Grace of Olive Branch, and teller Nita Jo Smith, who both died. A third worker was also stabbed but has been released from the hospital.

Police say Watts was later tracked down in a car that was owned by one of the women.

Watts isn’t charged in the robbery or the deaths.

If convicted of the gun charge, Watts faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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