New judge assigned to armed robbery case against Michael Warren
A new judge has been assigned to the armed robbery case against Michael Warren of Alexandria.
Warren, 27, appeared in Douglas County District Friday and his attorney requested Judge Dave Battey to recuse himself because Battey was the judge who signed the search warrants that were executed in the case.
Judge Ann Carrott will now preside.
An omnibus hearing to consider evidence in the case will be scheduled soon.
Warren was arrested on March 21 after armed robberies occurred at Subway, Premier Video and Super America between February 23 and March 18.
He is charged with 12 felony counts, including four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery (the three stores and an additional robbery of a driver in one of the store's parking lot), three counts of kidnapping, three counts of false imprisonment and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.
Bail was set at $1 million with no conditions, $600,000 with conditions or a bond of $750,000.
Warren became a suspect in the case after investigators, knowing that the robbery suspect sexually assaulted female clerks in two of the robberies, began to interview registered sexual predators in the area, including Warren. He was convicted in 2008 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Big Stone County.
When officers interviewed him at his apartment, Warren was “very nervous” and walked backwards away from them. Officers saw two $100 bills on a table and a jacket that had “currency coming out of the pockets,” according to the complaint.
Officers talked to a former girlfriend of Warren’s who told them that he had a distinct walk as a result of an injury that happened when he was in the Navy. The robber shown on surveillance cameras has the same kind of walk, a pronounced outstep, according to authorities.
Officers also focused on the voice of the robbery suspect, which was recorded at one of the stores. Warren’s probation officer listened to the recording and identified the voice as Warren’s, according to the complaint.
Other surveillance video images showed a red Dodge Durango traveling near two of the robbery sites at the time of the crimes. Warren told officers that his vehicle was a red Dodge Durango.
After obtaining a warrant, investigators searched Warren’s cell phone and found a video, believed to have been downloaded from a porn site on March 14, that depicts a male with a mask and handgun going into an apartment, threatening a woman and raping her.
Officers also executed a search warrant on Warren’s vehicle and residence and found clothing, shoes and a white plastic bag that is consistent with the items seen during the robberies, according to the complaint.