A Winona man was bound over to the action of a Montgomery County Grand Jury for allegedly breaking into Crow’s Nest and taking the cash register and all its contents – just hours after getting out of prison after being convicted for committing the identical crime.
Charles Washington, Jr. appeared in Winona Municipal Court Thursday before Judge Donald Bond. According to Dan Herod, chief investigator with the Winona Police Department, Washington is accused of breaking into The Crow’s Nest at 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10. Washington had only been released from prison since 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9.
Prior to his preliminary hearing, Washington attempted to break loose from officers in the courtroom.
Bond ordered a short recess, and during the break, officers escorted Washington into the courtroom. While escorting him in, he attempted to break free from the officers, and he was quickly taken to the ground and restrained by officers. Those in the court gallery let out a collective “Ohh!” as people ran to get out of the way.
“I told you not to do that!” one of the officers told Washington as he was on the ground and yelling at officers.
It was clear Washington was not willing to cooperate with the officers that surrounded him, but the preliminary hearing proceeded after Bond took his seat.
Herod testified that he’d charged Washington for breaking into The Crow’s Nest almost two years prior to this incident. Washington served two years in prison after being convicted of the burglary. He said after seeing surveillance video from the store, Washington was located and brought in.
He said when the burglar broke the window to gain entrance into the store, he cut his arm on the glass. Herod said the burglar took the cash register, which contained $300 in cash and $900 in checks.
“I told him that I had all the evidence, I had sent off a blood sample, I had video and his DNA already in the system at the Crime Lab,” Herod testified. “He said he had to man up to what he did.”
He said Washington admitted it was him and asked for Herod’s help.
In the middle of Herod’s testimony, Lee Bailey stopped Herod and told him that Washington was bleeding on his ear, implying that it may have happened when officers brought him down.
“Well, that was from when he broke the window to get in The Crow’s Nest,” Herod said. “He already had that.”
“No, I didn’t!” Washington said. “You know that man did it! You know the way that man handled me was wrong. I didn’t want to come out here anyway!”
Washington was trying to rise in his seat when he was stopped by officers.
“Well, what do you want to do? You want to stay out here or do you want officers to take you back?” Bond asked Washington.
“I want them to take me back to my cell! I didn’t want to come out here in the first place!” Washington said.
Bond then ordered officers to escort Washington back to the holding cell.
“Y’all know the way that man handled me was wrong!” He said, while yelling expletives as he left the courtroom.
After officers escorted Washington back to his cell, Bond proceeded with the rest of the preliminary hearing. He bound Washington over to the action of the grand jury and continued his bond at $100,000.