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One of accused Elba bank robbers agrees to guilty plea

By Howard B. Owens

BATAVIA, N.Y. -- Demone Dillon, one of three men accused of robbing the Elba M&T Bank on June 18, entered a guilty plea this afternoon to robbery in the second degree with a recommended prison term of 3 1/2 to 10 years.

As part of the plea bargain, Dillon agreed to testify in any trial of either of the co-defendants.  He also agreed to acknowledge that his confessions the night of the alleged robbery are truthful.

Under oath, while being questioned by Judge Robert Noonan, Dillon admitted that he accompanied Michael Wells and Dennis Abrams to Elba on June 18 and that at the time he entered the vestibule of the bank, he knew the intention of Wells and Abrams was to hold up the branch.

Dillon said he held the door open because the two other suspects feared getting locked in, and he was also supposed to alert Wells and Abrams if he saw the police, but admitted he didn't watch too closely for the cops.

He also couldn't see what was going on in the branch office while the robbery was in progress, he said.

"Everybody admits he's the least culpable of the three," said his attorney, Richard R. Shaw II, after the hearing. "We think that for what he's charged with, this is a fair plea."

Shaw also said he believes at least one of the other co-defendants will soon enter a guilty plea.

The attorney for Abrams, Daniel Killelea, had a closed-door conference with District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Judge Noonan this afternoon.

Thomas Burns, the attorney for Wells, recently filed a series of motions challenging the prosecution's case and requested a change of venue for a potential trial.

"I imagine they'll all eventually plea," Shaw said.

Dillon's bail was reduced to $250,000 cash OR $250,000 bond. Previously, it was set at $250,000 cash AND $500,000 bond.

Judge Noonan will sentence Dillon at a later date after a probation department review of the case and interviews with Dillon, family members and victims.

Gary Spencer

Interesting...nobody is whining about this court appearance in the news!!

what is more interesting is the attorney saying "I imagine they'll all eventually plea," Shaw said....I think it may be true but that should be for the other defendants/attorney's to say!

Aug 25, 2009, 8:14pm Permalink
ashley trowbridge

i would like people to know yes it was wrong with what they have done but people mess up u cant look at them as what they did n i would like people to know that demones is a loving man a father n a great 1 we know what he did was wrong n he knows his self but plz don't take him as a bad person people mess up n learn from it.....

Aug 25, 2009, 8:15pm Permalink
ashley trowbridge

THIS IS NNOT ASHLEY THIS IS DEMONS SISTER IN LAW... Yeah it was wrong but my brother in law is NOT a bad person by any means... People make mistakes and bad choices in life. Its just something you have to get over. I know all u people on here writting these comments done something bad in ur life... I know you did cuz NO ONE IS PERFECT..... GET OVER YOUR SELFS AND STOP TALKING SHIT ABOUT HIM... YA DIG!!!!!!!

Aug 25, 2009, 9:10pm Permalink

HEY Ashley and sister in-law..Something went wrong that put these three people in this situation.I think the plea deal is fair and a wise choice.NYS has a wonderful prison system.I would strongly encourage Demon to take advantage of any and all educational services that they have to offer.I would like to see him get out someday and be a productive part of society.GOD BLESS!!!!!!

Aug 25, 2009, 9:23pm Permalink
Amanda Rumble

... It doesn't appear anyone is talking shit on this post.

Good for him with the plea. It saves a lot of resources and maybe the prison term will set him on a new path in life when he has completed it. Let's hope the same for the other 2.

My husband was released from prison in November after a year long sentence for grand larceny while drunk back in 2006. I can honestly say it's the best thing that ever happened to him. He completely changed his life around to being a productive member of society now. He also hasn't touched any alcohol since September of 2007. Sometimes it's what people need to get reality to hit them that a life of crime is not what they want.

Aug 25, 2009, 9:24pm Permalink
Gary Spencer

Ashley & sister in law. I more than a lot of people here understand about people making mistakes, I have a lengthy criminal history and have done a lot of things in my life that I am not proud of, however the important thing is that I took responsibility for my actions, we must all learn not to blame our upbringing, society or other people for what has happened to us, we all need to take responsibility for our actions. Like others have said, it is good that he/them plead guilty, and accept what they did, and also NYS does have one of the best prison systems in the nation, there are many programs for somebody willing to make an effort to change, but again the key is to TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our actions.
ps-I have been clean/sober for many years and NEVER have I gotten arrested while on under the influence of drugs/slcohol.

Aug 25, 2009, 9:47pm Permalink
Tammy Way

A mistake!!!! To go in to a building and terrorize people --- they should be terrorized in prision -- see how it feels -- having a gun with you ! What did they forget it was with them? Having Cops chase them all over the county -- scareing citizens that were minding their own business - A mistake? Boo Hoo Come to a small town thinking they were bad asses? That was their mistake --- priceless.

Aug 26, 2009, 11:41am Permalink
ashley trowbridge

Yeah it was a mistake for Demone. You people DONT know him... Thats NOT him at all... He never does stuff like that. Some one forced him to do that. And if you bright people read DEMONE Was NOT THE ONE WHO WAS INSIDE THEE BANK... THE OHER TWO WERE AND I DONT CARE ABOUT THEM OTHER TWO.... DEMONE SHOULDNT BE GETTING CHARGED WITH WHAT HE GOT CUZ HE DIDNT HAVE A GUN OR WASENT IN THE BANK... SO IT SHOULD BE LESS.... AND THIS IS HIS SISTER IN LAW {MARY}....

Aug 26, 2009, 1:38pm Permalink
Alicia Jachimowicz

I agree that people do make mistakes. We all as human beings make mistakes and will continue to do so, it is part of life. But there is a huge difference when it comes to making a mistake as far as not paying a bill on time or running a red light, etc. versus walking into a bank with intentions of getting away with a large amount of money! Yes, we call read in the paper that Demone was not one with a gun in his hand. We know this, and so does the court and judges and they have made their decisions based on this. But please understand that Demone also made the CHOICE to get into that SUV on the morning the crime was committed. He made the CHOICE to take the ride to Elba, NY and pull into that parking spot at the M&T Bank in Elba. He made the CHOICE to walk into that bank and stand in the vestibule to "watch for cops." Thankfully he did not make the CHOICE is hold a gun to someones head or to walk any further than the vestibule, but ultimately he knew what he was getting into. Ultimately, these women that were inside of the bank pulled out of their driveway that morning with intentions of going to work and making an honest days living to support themselves and their families. They like many of us are wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. And just like you or I, their lives will be forever changed by the BAD CHOICES that these three men made that morning the M&T Bank was robbed. This is something that they will have to live with and they are the innocent ones. I don't feel bad for anyones excuses as to why they CHOSE to rob the bank. This is a rough time in anyones life given the economy and what not. Everyone has, and will struggle. Thankfully we are all surviving on our own two feet by working and cutting back on extra things versus robbing banks. I do feel bad for these three mens families, because they might have done what they did to help support them or thinking that they were making the right decisions for their families-but what I ask their families, (Mary and Ashley) is to walk a day in the shoes of the women that were scared to death the day that your family member made the CHOICE to walk into that bank. I nor you have any idea the thoughts that come running through their head every minute of every day or nightmare. I hope that Demone has learned a lesson from all of this and that if he is the person that you say he is that he will come out from his sentencing and be a changed man and prove us all wrong!

Aug 26, 2009, 2:40pm Permalink
ashley trowbridge

this is ashley n yes i do feel bad for them n yes he knows hes messed up big time but do u what happen the day he got in the car NO do u kno what happen on the way to the bank NO yes he is taking what he has to take n dealing wit it but if he has knew that they were goin to rob a bank n was able to leave him wit out think what would happen then he would of what if that was u n ur familys at home n they have loaded guns what would u do? i mean i am not trying to say that what they did was right and as my sister said demone didn;t hold a gun to any1s head so in that matter demone shouldnt be gettin talked about wit that he didn't go in the bank n like as i will keep sayin he knows it was wrong but people talkin stuff about them beenin bad ass's no no1 thinks they r bad ass if demone new what they were goin to do he would not be where he is right now he would be at home wit his family like he was everyday befor this happened working n being wit his family n yes he is taking full RESPONSIBILITY of what he did n that is why he hasnt taking this to trail or no crazy ness so he has owned up to what he has done n by all means he didnt kno so he cant just come out n say yes i new about the whole thing shit if anything the way buffalo were we r from but the way buffalo is if he was gonna plane on robbying a bank it wouldnt be in a small town if he planed it it would have been in buffalo were everybody gets away wit everything they do but i am not being mean i just ask that people do mess up n they learn from it so if u dont kno the person befor his mess up dont dog him thats all i asked of yous n for who the the demon thing no not cute demone is a loving father of 3 a working man and a caring man all together so plz that all i ask is dont put him down for his MESS up!

Aug 26, 2009, 6:04pm Permalink
Peter O'Brien

So don't treat him badly for his poor decision? Well what should we treat him bad for? His lack of courage to stand up to his friends when they were doing something that you sem to claim he was against doing?

Aug 26, 2009, 5:06pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Ashley, is if he is as otherwise a good of a guy as you say he is, then that will come out in his probation report and that might lead to closer to the minimum sentence, if not the minimum (3 1/2 years). He would be a very lucky young man under the circumstances to only do three or years in prison on a charge like this. Certainly, his role in the robbery (he apparently did not plan it, nor did he hold a gun) would also, I think, be in his favor.

But he did admit in court that he knew at the time that he entered the bank building that he was participating in a robbery, and that he held the door and acted as a look out. That makes him culpable.

I don't want to delete your comment because I believe you have a right to be heard, but please stop using foul language. It's almost all adults who read this site, but not always, and some people do find it offensive. I would appreciate it if you would go back and edit your comment to clean up the language and refrain from such language in future comments.

Aug 26, 2009, 5:46pm Permalink
Sean Valdes


I think you should hand out Captain Crunch decoder rings when you sign up for the Batavian. Between Ms. Trowbridge and Miss Runfola - it took me nearly 20 minutes to decipher their posts.

Aug 26, 2009, 7:54pm Permalink

Ashley, Sean is saying that neither you or Jennifer Runfola can type out coherent replies. Nor can you keep a civil tongue.

Just in case...

coherent, adj.: capable of thinking and expressing in a clear and consistent manner

Aug 26, 2009, 11:19pm Permalink

SEAN-I went to Topps and couldn't find the boxes with those rings-maybe walmart has them or will Howard be sending them In the mail to us.
This site Is better than any newspaper I ever read

Aug 27, 2009, 11:50am Permalink
iesha honeycutt

i want to start off by sayin that im here to defend my fiance (wells) by sayin he also is not that type of person. he was a star football player since he could walk. he has been playin semi-pro football for about 5yrs. and jus started a season 2wks prior to this. he is an adament football fan of the buffalo bills. a great father to our 4yr old son and my 6yr old daughter. he had jus started a job at a factory and was gonna be starting a better job that monday after this incident. im gonna be the first to admit that this was wrong. i dont agree with his actions, but he is no monster like the people in this town make him seem to be. he is a good person. he is very sorry for what he did and he will have plenty of time to think about it. but for ashley and sister, u dont no what demone new b4 this. how can he say he didnt no what they were goin to do when he went into the store to by gloves. what did he think he was goin to do with the gloves? and everybody say that there was 2 people with guns were is that proven. dennis is the only one that it is proven that had a gun. and also people should stop judging these guys when they dont no anything about them. Wells do not have a criminal history so its not fair to call him a thug or a monster or whatever yall want to call him this was a bad choice he made in his life and he has repented for his sin. only god can judge him on judgement day.

Aug 27, 2009, 1:43pm Permalink
C. M. Barons

Considering that spelling and grammar are less than prime considerations at the Batavian, I find it odd that some are faulting the women's posts. Idiomatic style and use of texting abbreviations not withstanding, it is clear what both women are saying. Unless -of course- there is some racism behind the objections.

Aug 28, 2009, 1:40pm Permalink

I cannot take anyone with sub-par spelling and grammar seriously. On this site or otherwise.

Especially when people butcher homophones. That particularly makes me cringe.

Aug 29, 2009, 2:35am Permalink
Chelsea Ballard

You all will have to excuse Ms. Trowbridge. She's off of her meds and has this strange idea in her head that Demone Sr and her are married. They are not married and he has 2 other girlfriends, and those are only 2 that I have received emails from, telling me I 'NEED' to take my son, Demone Jr, to jail to see his dad. Funny how now that he is incarcerated, he has all of the time in the world to see my son. Also, she claims that he's such a good father, loving and caring. As the mother of his eldest son, Demone Jr, I can honestly say that my son is as wonderful and beautiful as he is due to the fact that his daddy has NEGLECTED to call, see him or write in over 2 years! All he's ever bought him is a pair of sneakers and 3 plastic diapers. He has an order, since my son was 2, to pay $25 per month in child support, and has proven to me by not paying that my son isn't worth even that. Demone Sr. has been FAR FROM caring and loving to Deomone Jr. Ms Twowbridge, as well as his other girlfriends, need to wake up and realize that they are strictly being used for commissary purposes. He has a record that goes back longer than I have known him, which is 10 years. I think Ms. Trowbridge is VERY young, and needs to realize that she does not know nearly every detail of Demone Sr's life. Especially after knowing him only a short year. He is now what he was 10 years ago, and seeing that he's been through the criminal justice system PLENTY of times before, jail again will not change his 'mistake'. He will get out and keep making 'mistakes'. My son is beautiful and deserves more in life than to think jail, drugs, robberies, and multiple woman are the way to live life. WAKE UP ASHLEY!

Oct 15, 2009, 12:55pm Permalink

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