VALPARAISO | The Lake Station man charged with robbing three Portage businesses in as many days last week is no stranger to the county legal system.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper said Wednesday that 26-year-old William Evans has repeatedly made appearances in at least half of the county's courtrooms, with some cases still pending.
She referred to Evans as a "high mileage, frequent flyer in the criminal justice system."
Evans did not dispute the claims during an initial hearing on the latest charges. The hearing was carried out via a video conferencing call between the courthouse and jail.
Pleas of not guilty were entered on his behalf to three Class B felony counts of robbery; D felony counts of possession of heroin, possession of hypodermic needles and maintaining a common nuisance; and a Class A misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.
Evans, who is currently being held without bond, was ordered to have no further contact with the individuals he robbed.
His case was transferred to Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa as a result of a case already pending in that courtroom. A status hearing is set for April 5.
Evans is accused of carrying out armed robberies at Speedway, 5011 Central Ave., on March 20, and at Zip Foods, 5757 U.S. 20 and Comfort Inn, 2300 Willowcreek Road on March 22.
Police said there were similarities with all three robberies and an anonymous tipster referred police to Evans.
Harper said Evans has convictions from a 2011 case of conversion and a 2010 case of intimidation.