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updated: 6/10/2014 5:26 AM

Man charged in deadly holdup bid headed to court

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Associated Press

BENTON -- A southern Illinois man allegedly involved in a deadly bank robbery attempt is to appear in federal court.

Twenty-nine-year-old James Watts' arraignment Tuesday in Benton comes a week after the Cairo man was indicted on charges of attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death. The charges include special findings making the death penalty possible if he's convicted. Prosecutors say they haven't decided whether to seek death.

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Watts was arrested May 15 hours after Anita Jo Grace of Olive Branch and Nita Jo Smith of Wickliffe, Kentucky were found stabbed at Cairo's First National Bank. Both women died. A third worker survived the attack.

Watts, who is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm, is being held without bond.

Watts' court-appointed lawyer hasn't commented on the case.

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