Police: Man tied up three victims with zip ties during armed robbery at Raleigh home

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh man is facing charges for his role in an armed robbery in which three people, including a teenager, were bound with zip ties.

Russell Lee Watkins, 41, is charged with felony conspiracy, robbery with dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping.

In court Tuesday, Watkins denied any involvement in the incident.

"The victims, if they were to put a picture of me towards the victims, they going to say it definitely wasn't me," Watkins told a judge. "Like really, it wasn't. I am a law-abiding citizen. I work."

He also asked the judge to reduce his $690,000 bond.

"Your honor, I know the charge is tremendous ...with that type of bond, I would never see the birth of my child," said Watkins, who said he wants to be by his pregnant wife's side. "Like, I haven't really been getting in trouble."

The judge denied his request.

The incident happened at a home on Slippery Elm Drive in Southeast Raleigh on Dec. 17.

A warrant was issued for Watkins' arrest Jan. 4.

The prosecution noted that Watkins is a convicted felon and called the crime he's now accused of a "violent ambush."

Authorities said Watkins took "a black pistol" inside the home and tied up the people inside, two adults, ages 31 and 25, and a 14-year-old.

Watkins stole a diamond ring from the home and then sold it to a pawn shop called American Gold Exchange in exchange for $100, "knowing the ring was stolen during an armed robbery," prosecutors said.

An Xbox, an iPhone, $140 in cash, keys to a Mercedes sedan, and a laptop were also stolen.

ABC11 tried to speak to the victims but nobody answered the door at the residence.

Watkins is facing seven felony charges.
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