William Thomas C. Frank III, vice chairman of the Nisqually Tribal Council and son of the late Nisqually tribal leader Billy Frank Jr., won’t go to trial next week on theft charges as planned.
Frank appeared Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court before Judge Anne Hirsch. Hirsch granted defense attorney Robert Quillian’s request to postpone trial for the theft case until Sept. 28.
Quillian said he has been discussing a plea deal in the case with prosecutors.
“We’ve been in lengthy talks about the issue,” Quillian said.
The case has been pending since September 2014, when Frank was charged with three counts of first-degree theft and 12 counts of second-degree theft. He is accused of taking more than $50,000 from Nisqually seafood and tobacco bank accounts.
This is Frank’s second pending case from 2014. He also was arrested in July 2014 and charged with two counts of first-degree attempted robbery. Hirsch changed the trial date in that case from Aug. 18 to Sept. 28 as well.
According to court documents, Frank was arrested on July 2, 2014, after an Umpqua Bank employee reported that a man appeared to be preparing to rob the bank at 3000 Harrison Ave. in Olympia. She said the man was wearing a black-and-white bandanna on his head, and he had bandages covering portions of his face.
About 10 minutes later, a Columbia Bank employee reported that a man with a similar description appeared to be trying to rob the bank at 2850 Harrison Ave. The employee said the man entered and exited the bank several times, according to court documents.
An officer located the suspect’s vehicle and followed it to a nearby parking lot. The officer arrested the man and identified him as Frank.
Officers found a replica handgun in the parking lot.
Frank was booked into the Thurston County Jail, where he told officers that he had entered both banks with the intention of robbing them. He said his conscience took over, and he wasn’t able to go through with the plan, according to court documents.
He also told police that he had been carrying the replica gun, and that he threw it out his vehicle window when a police car followed him into the parking lot.
The Washington State Patrol began investigating the theft case in May 2014 after Nisqually Tribal Police identified Frank as a suspect in a series of thefts from tribal bank accounts, according to court documents.
During an interview with a detective, Frank said that as the vice chairman of the tribal council, he had access to the accounts, but he knew that he wasn’t authorized to take the money.
He told the detective that he was trying to replace the money he had taken from the accounts, according to court documents.