Charges dropped against Joshua Giles after video shows he was in Arizona at time of robberies
SPANAWAY – An interesting twist in the case of a man who was charged in Thurston County with Robbery in the 1st Degree.
An arrest warrant was issued for Joshua Giles earlier this year and we featured him on Washington’s Most Wanted. Giles was then arrested in Pierce County last month, thanks to a tip from a viewer, but now he has been released from jail after his public defender presented video evidence showing Giles in Arizona at the time of the robbery spree in Olympia and Shelton last February.
Detectives say they are still waiting on DNA results before clearing him completely, but his charges have been dismissed and Giles says they had the wrong man all along.
Surveillance video from an AM/PM convenience store showed one of the armed robberies that Olympia Police were trying to solve after a suspect demanded cash and lottery tickets. Detectives focused on what the suspect was wearing, saying it was the same pair you see on another robbery suspect at Eagan’s Drive-In in Olympia. And video from the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, again, shows a man wearing the same distressed jeans and detectives say he has the same strut they see with one of the robbery incidents. Detectives say even though his face is covered, the pants are still visible. That evidence combined with witness statements identifying Joshua Giles as the suspect known only as 'T' led to formal charges -- charges that have now been dismissed.
"I've never even been to that Little Rock casino, not ever, not once, said Giles.
He says he was shocked to hear he was wanted and is adamant that is not him on the casino's video. "I'm much better looking than he is,” said Giles.
Giles says he was in Phoenix, Arizona when the robberies occurred on February 8th, 9th and 10th, taking care of his mom who has terminal cancer. "At first, I thought it was a joke because somebody sent it to me and I thought, ‘Wow, they really went all out on that one.’”
After he was arrested, his public defender, Alex Frix, gave detectives time-stamped video of Giles at an RV park in Arizona on the days the robberies occurred, as well as five witness statements, showing Giles couldn't be in two places at once. “The Olympia Police Department and the Thurston County Prosecutor assigned to the case agreed that we had enough evidence that the case against Mr. Giles should be dismissed, so the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's office drafted a motion and order to dismiss both cases and a judge signed it,” said Frix.
Giles says he didn't surrender to fight the charges to clear his name, because he was trying to get enough money to hire an attorney. He credits Frix for listening to him that he was innocent. "It looks to me that there were witnesses who either lied to law enforcement, or the way that evidence was presented to them and they were asked, who was the person who committed these robberies, they identified Mr. Giles and there is clear evidence that they were either mistaken, or lying and we need to figure out how we can avoid something like that from happening to somebody else in the future,’ said Frix.
If anything, Frix wishes he could have gotten Giles out sooner. He spent 16 days behind bars and while police were locked-in on Giles, the real suspect is still out there.
For his part, Giles is glad his name has been cleared, even grateful that we are telling his story so that everybody knows he is innocent. "Now, I want to just try and get this all behind me, so I can start trying to pick myself back up again."