Possible Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested for Weapons Charge in Cairo, Illinois

May 16, 2014

A former convict who authorities say is a suspect in the deadly bank robbery in Cairo has been charged with a related weapons count.

Federal prosecutors charged 29-year-old James Watts of Cairo Friday with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The U.S. attorney says Watts was arrested Thursday on a railroad trestle in Cairo hours after a First National Bank branch in that city was robbed. Authorities say two bank employees were killed and a third employee was critically injured.

Prosecutors allege Watts led police on a chase while driving a vehicle that belonged to one of the bank workers.

Watts is in custody and has not been accused of the holdup.

State Police have now identified the two female employees killed in the robbery.

Authorities say 52-year-old Anita Grace of Olive Branch and 52-year-old Nita Smith of Wickliffe, Kentucky, died in the incident. A third, 23-year-old female employee, was not identified but reported to be in critical condition. All 3 suffered stab wounds.