Justice doesn't move this quickly in Fairfax County's court system. But apparently, at the federal level, it's full speed ahead.
And so it is that, in the space of just two weeks and three days, the person who's admitted to being on the other end of the accused "cell-phone bank robber's" line has been arrested, arraigned, entered a plea and has had a sentencing date set.
HE IS Dave Chatram Williams, 19, formerly of the City of Fairfax, and most recently of Chantilly — where he lived with his girlfriend, the now infamous Candice Rose Martinez of the Shenandoah Crossing Apartments.
And last Thursday, Dec. 1, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. At his sentencing in February, he could receive a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
Williams was first thrust into the public eye in mid-November when it became known that he and Martinez — who'd been photographed on bank surveillance cameras talking on a cell phone while reportedly robbing these banks — had a clear connection.
According to the FBI, the duo confessed to robbing four Wachovia banks — in Springfield and Vienna in Fairfax County, in Manassas in Prince William County and in Ashburn in Loudoun County. The crimes were committed: Oct. 12, at 212 E. Maple Ave., Vienna; Oct. 21, at 8441 Sudley Road, Manassas; Oct. 22, at 7030 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield; and Nov. 4, at 43780 Parkhurst Plaza, Ashburn.
Williams was apprehended Nov. 14, and the FBI charged him with the heist at the Vienna branch. Four days later, Nov. 18, he was in U.S. District Court for a combined preliminary and detention hearing.
At that time, he admitted via a note that Martinez was speaking to him on her cell phone during the robberies. He also stated that he'd given her the .38-caliber gun she allegedly displayed to the teller during the stickup in Ashburn. Williams also acknowledged driving the getaway car.
He appeared last week before U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee to enter his plea. He admitted to plotting the bank robberies with Martinez, also 19, of 4001 Spring Pond Place in Chantilly. She's originally from Santa Fe, N.M., and they met at Northern Virginia Community College, where both were students.
Williams told the court that the two of them composed a demand note using his personal computer and printer. In the note, the tellers were warned that, if they didn't turn over the bank's money to Martinez, they or someone next to them would be shot.
Authorities say the pair chose Wachovia to rob because Williams used to work for that bank and was familiar with its internal workings. They say he waited outside each bank while Martinez allegedly robbed them, and then drove the two of them from the scene.
THE TOTAL loss to Wachovia has been calculated at $48,620. However, according to Williams, the two went on a spending spree with the proceeds from the bank robberies, so only $4,769 is left in cash.
Williams said they purchased a 1997 Acura Integra, a Sony large-screen TV, a 42-inch Sylvania plasma flat-screen TV, two CD/DVD players and a four-piece bedroom set.
The duo also seemed to have an eye for fashion. Authorities confiscated several items of designer apparel and accessories — most of which still had the price tags attached. These include 11 Louis Vuitton or Coach purses and bags, three pair of jeans, four pair of boots, two pair of running shoes, five coats and jackets, seven tops and sweatshirts, two scarves and a gold-tone belt.
In court, Williams agreed to forfeit his interest in any assets bought with the cash from their ill-gotten gains. After accepting his guilty plea, Judge Lee — a former Fairfax County Circuit Court judge — set his sentencing for Feb. 24.
Martinez' case has been sent to the grand jury for possible indictment. While she and Williams await their next days in court, both are being held without bond in the Alexandria jail.