Man stands mute to felony charges of armed robbery
Two weeks later, he is alleged to have given a bank teller a note stating, “I have a gun. Put the money in the bag.”
He told police after his arrest that he needed money because he owed his drug dealer $1,600 and had to take care of his family, according to the criminal complaints.
Michael W. Batiste, 40, of 614 S. Locust St., was charged with two felony counts of armed robbery in the case. He stood mute to the charges in Rock County Court on Friday.
Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer entered a not guilty plea for Batiste, who had waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Batiste is accused of robbing Janesville Quick Cash, 1728 Milton Ave., on Sept. 12 and Commercial Bank, 1400 Black Bridge Road, two weeks later.
According to the criminal complaints:
An employee at Janesville Quick Cash told police a gunman entered the business, pushed a gun against her back and told her to open the cash register.
The man then opened the cash register himself and took the money. He then ordered the employee onto the ground.
The man left. The employee got up, locked the door and called 911.
Surveillance footage of the robbery showed a man who resembled Batiste.
Two weeks later, a teller at Commercial Bank was robbed.
She told police a man approached her window and pulled out a bag and a threatening note.
The man told the teller to keep her hands where he could see them. The teller then began taking money from her cash drawer and filling the bag. She also put bait money into the bag.
The robber then exited the bank. That day Batiste returned to his home. He was carrying a bag. He told his girlfriend everything would be OK. He told her to take a walk. She left the home.
While investigating the bank robbery, officers approached Batiste’s girlfriend while she was walking. The woman told police she suspected her boyfriend, Batiste, might be involved.
She told police they had an argument over money the previous day. That morning, Batiste told her she and the kids would be taken care of. He later left their home.
A detective interviewed Batiste, who admitted to the robberies.
Batiste remains in the Rock County Jail on $10,000 cash bond.
If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison for each robbery.
His next court appearance will be scheduled at a future date.