Second man held in deadly bank holdup pleads guilty to charges

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man has pleaded guilty to taking part in a 2014 attempted bank robbery during which two women were killed.

Otha Don Watkins of Cairo pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to the attempted robbery.

First National Bank employees Anita Grace and Nita Jo Smith were killed and a third employee was seriously injured.

Watkins’ accomplice, James Watts, pleaded guilty in March to attempted bank robbery resulting in a death and in May was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports Watkins is alleged to have driven Watts to the bank, and communicated with Watts on a two-way radio while Watts attempted to rob the bank.

Watkins is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal awaiting sentencing.