Pocatello brothers charged for involvement in armed robbery near ATM
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POCATELLO — Charges have been filed against the Hamilton brothers for their suspected roles in an armed robbery that occurred two weeks ago in Pocatello. The robbery was part of a long string of crimes ranging from thefts to shooting at police, according to court documents.
The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges for two counts of felony robbery against Nathen Jay Hamilton, 26, on July 2. On the same day, charges for two counts of aiding and abetting in a robbery were filed against Micole Johnathan Hamilton, 23.
In addition, Micole has been charged with two counts of grand theft for allegedly stealing vehicles, one of which police say was used in the robbery.
Both brothers could also face more charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for other incidents unrelated to the robbery.
The following is a summary of various incidents allegedly involving the brothers:
The armed robbery on June 24
The armed robbery occurred around 6 a.m. on June 24 near a US Bank drive-thru ATM, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Two victims told officers with the Pocatello Police Department that a man sneaked up behind their vehicle and surprised them at the driver’s side door, brandishing a black handgun and demanding their belongings. The victims told officers that while items of value like purses, IDs and a cell phone were taken, only loose change was in the purses, as the two had not yet completed any transactions at the ATM.
After searching the area, both on foot and in patrol vehicles, and not finding the man responsible, police put out a cell phone blast in a half-mile radius surrounding the robbery.
Among the responses was a manager at the nearby McDonald’s, who gave officers video surveillance that showed a man matching the victims’ description leaving the passenger side of a blue Honda and heading toward the bank.
Images of the suspect and vehicle were published on Facebook, resulting in tips from the public.
One tip led officers to a home on Gwen Drive, where a neighbor had seen two men with a matching vehicle the night before. Officers found a blue 2006 Honda Accord in the area with expired plates registered to a white Honda Accord.
While officers monitored the area, the front door of the home was opened momentarily, then shut. Shortly thereafter, the blinds of the upstairs rooms were shut, according to police reports.
The car vanishes on June 25
Officers returned to the home the following day. As they approached, one man, later identified as Nathen, was sitting in the car and then ran from the passenger side of the vehicle into the house. Nathen would later admit to being in possession of “a lot of drugs” when he ran into the home.
The other man, later identified as Micole, allegedly drove out of the area at high speeds, evading officers.
Hours later, the Honda was reported abandoned off Bannock Highway. Two men were reportedly seen leaving on foot after parking the vehicle there. Officers also reported that the vehicle’s rear windshield was now missing.
Staff at a local business later told officers that a woman in an SUV with no license plates was dropped off near the abandoned car and drove off with it. After he was arrested, Nathen told officers that Micole had contacted the owner of a “chop shop” and that the car was gone.
Micole told officers that Nathen had sold the car for $300.
Nathen arrested on June 29
After receiving an arrest warrant, officers from the Pocatello Police and Pocatello SWAT arrested Nathen on June 29 at the home on Gwen Drive without incident following a standoff that lasted several hours.
Nathen allegedly told officers that his younger brother, Micole, had been the one responsible for the robbery while he waited in the vehicle. He said that the two had driven to McDonald’s for breakfast but realized neither had any money. Micole then walked toward the US Bank ATM saying he had “some business to handle,” Nathen claimed.
Nathen also said that Micole had been the one responsible for vehicle thefts in American Falls, Jerome County and Idaho Falls. In Idaho Falls, he had also fired two .45 caliber rounds at the vehicle owner out of the driver’s side window, Nathen said.
He said that the two had been driving the blue Honda the morning of the robbery. He also claimed that the 2006 Honda Accord, white at the time it was stolen, had been spray-painted around 15 times between the theft and robbery.
Micole also allegedly told Nathen that, when he eluded officers on June 25, he did so while firing about five rounds from his handgun in the direction of the pursuing officers.
Finally, Nathen warned officers that his brother was in possession of at least two handguns and two shotguns, and had said that he would “shoot it out” with officers before being arrested.
Micole arrested on June 30
Officers found Micole near the 500 block of Aspen Lane and took him into custody while he was in the process of moving from one vehicle to another on North Gathe Road.
Though he admitted to the car thefts in American Falls and Jerome County, Micole told officers that Nathen had committed the robbery near the ATM.
Informed that Nathen had accused him of being the gunman, Micole responded by telling officers to review the surveillance explaining that the suspect was wearing brown boots, which he does not. He also described the route the vehicle took leaving the McDonald’s parking lot — turning left into oncoming traffic.
Officers once again reviewed surveillance footage of the two men who abandoned the Honda on Bannock Highway. The man they identified as Nathen was wearing the low-top brown work boots seen in the robbery footage and found at the home on Gwen Drive at the time of the arrest. The man they identified as Micole was wearing tennis shoes when the Honda was abandoned.
That and the fact that Micole’s description of the vehicle’s route from McDonald’s to US Bank led officers to believe that Micole’s rendition of the story was closer to the truth.
Pocatello Police continue to investigate the alleged shooting that took place on June 25 as Micole fled the Gwen Drive area. If evidence is found supporting Nathen’s claim, the department could pursue charges of attempted murder of an officer against Micole. Charges related to the vehicle theft and firing a handgun in Idaho Falls could be filed as well.
As for this particular incident, should Nathen be found guilty of robbery, he would face prison sentences of five years to life and fines up to $50,000 for each. Should Micole be found guilty of aiding and abetting in a robbery, he would face the same penalty. He also faces one to 14 years in prison and $5,000 in fines for each charge of grand theft.
Both men are scheduled to appear in court for preliminary hearings on July 14.