A 19-year-old Eagan teenager facing felony robbery and assault charges for his alleged role in a robbery and beating earlier this month is scheduled to appear before a jury starting Oct. 15.
Paul Earnest McWilliams, Jr., pleaded not guilty to one felony count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon charges last week. McWilliams' jury trial is set to begin Oct. 15, according to Minnesota court records.
McWilliams is one of two Eagan residents charged in relation to the incident, which police say took place on Aug. 1 along Ballantrae Road in Eagan. Joey James Brown, 18, who was also charged following the incident, has an omnibus hearing scheduled for Sept. 25.
Police say the robbery was a setup that went sour. According to the criminal complaints, the victim allegedly approached a vehicle in a parking lot occupied by Brown and McWilliams and asked them if they had any marijuana they could sell.
Police say the victim later got a text message from McWilliams, and he went back outside to the parking lot to meet them. As he talked to the two men, a third man, described as a black male with tattoos, came up behind the victim, put a gun to his head and told him to hand over all his money, according to the complaint.
The unidentified man allegedly became angry when he couldn't find anything in the victim's pockets, and repeatedly punched and pistol-whipped the victim.
Police say Brown, McWilliams and the unidentified man then escorted the victim to a bank, where McWilliams took the victim's debit card and withdrew $300.
Police identified McWilliams as the owner of the phone number that the victim was given, and the victim picked McWilliams out of a photo lineup. When questioned, McWilliams allegedly told officers that he, too, was a victim in the robbery.
But Brown, when interviewed, that the incident was a setup in which he and McWilliams called the third man and told him to come to the apartment building and pretend to rob both defendants and the victim, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
If convicted of first-degree aggravated robbery, Brown and McWilliams could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.