- Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A 70-year-old man has been released from jail after being detained despite a federal judge dismissing charges that he robbed three northern Michigan banks.

Judge Michael Haley ordered William Francis Minore’s release Wednesday from Grand Traverse County jail on a personal recognizance bond, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported .

Minore was arraigned last month on unrelated stun gun possession charges one day after his armed robbery charges were dismissed.

Haley said the original $100,000 bond amount is excessive for the stun gun charges.

“At this point, I’m looking at a 70-year-old person who has no prior convictions that I’m aware of,” Haley said. “We’re looking at two, four-year felonies. True, they’re felonies, but they’re pretty low on the food chain as far as felonies go.”

Leelanau County prosecutor Joe Hubbell said the recent charges served as a placeholder while prosecutors revisit the dismissed bank robbery case.

“I think he (Minore) deserves to be out,” said William Burdette, Minore’s attorney. “Bond should be based on the charges, not allegations of criminality that has already been thrown out by the federal court.”

The robberies occurred in 2015 and 2016 in Empire and Lake Ann, small towns west of Traverse City. Authorities alleged that Minore distracted police with phony reports of crimes, including a school shooting.

Hubbell had handed the bank robbery case over to the FBI, but a federal judge dropped the charges days later.

Minore could face up to four years in prison for the felony stun gun possession charges. He will likely only see up to 9 months due to his clean criminal record and having already served time the past two years, Burdette said.

Minore declined to comment on his prior and ongoing cases.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

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