Alleged Back Bay Bank Robber Had Gotten COVID Release for Bank Robbery

When Steve Williams was arrested last Friday, Nov. 13, for allegedly robbing the Santander Bank on Boylston Street, he was supposed to still be in jail for robbing two banks in 2016 – had it not been for a compassionate release granted in August by Federal Judge Wolf.

According to federal court documents, in July Williams petitioned the court to let him out of his five-year bank robbery sentence early due to COVID-19 worries and a gastrointestinal issue he suffers from. He was to be in prison for the robberies until February 2021.

The judge agreed.

“Williams seeks a reduction in his sentence to time-served,” read the decision by Judge Wolf. “He is suffering from severe gastrointestinal issues and contends that because of the COVID-19 pandemic he is unable to get adequate medical care in prison. Therefore, Williams asserts that there are “extraordinary and compelling reasons” for such a reduction…The court agrees that extraordinary and compelling reasons justify the reduction of Williams’ sentence to time-served.”

Last Friday, four months after being released from federal prison, Williams allegedly went into the Santander Bank at 575 Boylston St. around 12:24 p.m. and passed a note to the teller – to apparently rob the bank.

During the incident, Williams passed a note to a bank teller implying that he was armed with a firearm. After securing the loot, he fled the area on foot with an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency.

Officers were provided a detailed suspect description which was shared with additional responding units. A short time later, an officer working a paid detail in the area of 650 Albany Street in the South End observed a male matching the given description and attempted to stop him to speak with him.

Williams was placed in custody without incident following a brief foot pursuit at which time the officers recovered cash and other evidence related to the incident from the suspect. The suspect, Stephen Williams, 57, of Boston, will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Armed Robbery (Bank).

As part of his release agreement, he was to be in home confinement at an undisclosed address until Feb. 25, 2021. His actions will have violated the terms of his federal supervised release plan, as well.

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