Howell Man Enters New Plea Deal To Bank Robberies
September 24, 2018
A Howell man charged with robbing three banks has entered a new plea deal after withdrawing the previous one in federal court.
35-year-old Kenneth Kniivila had been set to enter a plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit to a single count of bank robbery after reaching a deal earlier this year to drop a second count in exchange for a plea. But court records indicated he withdrew that plea. Those have since been updated to show that he has now entered a new plea deal that incorporates the case in Detroit federal court and another one from Ohio.
Authorities say Kniivila admitted that he robbed the Bank of America on Grand River in Genoa Township on January 11th, followed by two more bank robberies on January 16th in Toledo and Monroe. After surveillance photos went public, law enforcement was able to identify Kniivila as the primary suspect. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody without incident and a vehicle search turned up various items including four grams of suspected cocaine, two black semi-automatic pellet guns, money and green canvas bags. The Sheriff’s Office and the FBI interviewed Kniivila, who waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the three robberies. He told authorities he “lost his marbles” when he drove around Toledo looking for a bank to rob.
Under the new plea deal, Kniivila will plead guilty to single bank robbery count from Michigan and another from Ohio, consolidating those two cases. He will face between 57 and 71 months in prison and restitution of $6,799, the total amount he made from the robberies, when he is sentenced October 12th. Without a plea deal, he would have faced up to 25 years in prison. (JK)