Cairo Man Sentenced For Role in Deadly 2014 Attempted Bank Robbery

Mar 21, 2018

A Cairo man is sentenced in federal court for his role in the attempted 2014 armed robbery of the First National Bank in Cairo and for other related crimes.

The U.S. attorney says 35-year-old Otha Don Watkins, III admitted he assisted James Watts in the planning of the robbery, drove him to the bank on May 15, 2014 and served as a lookout while communicating with Watts on a hand-held radio.

After failing to get any money, Watts killed long-time bank employees Anita Grace and Nita Jo Smith and seriously injured a third employee. Watts was sentenced last year to life in prison plus ten years.

Watkins also previously pleaded guilty in January to making false statements to the FBI during the investigation of the attempted bank robbery, possessing a stolen firearm, and conspiring with Watts in the successful May 2014 armed robbery of over $12,000 from a McDonald's Restaurant in Charleston, Missouri.

Watkins' 23-year sentence will be served consecutively to an almost 13-year federal prison sentence he was already serving for the armed robbery of another McDonald's restaurant in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in October 2014.