BILLINGS - A man identified by investigators as the gunman in a pair of casino robberies committed in Billings in the span of about five hours in late September pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two charges.
Robert Allen Boyden appeared by video from jail in Yellowstone County District Court and pleaded not guilty to two counts of robbery.
Charging documents say that surveillance footage shows a masked man, later identified as Boyden, using a gun to hold up the Stadium Club, 1041 Main St., at about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30. About five hours later, early on Oct. 1, the same gun-wielding man robbed the Palagio’s Grand Casino, 1720 Grand Ave., according to prosecutors.
No one was injured in either robbery.
Boyden, who told police he needed the money to pay for rent, made off with a total of about $1,950, court records say.
On Tuesday, District Judge Michael G. Moses kept Boyden’s bond at $150,000, the amount of the warrant issued for Boyden’s arrest.
Boyden had been paroled in February after serving almost 20 years for his role in a 1995 attempted homicide that permanently injured a man, court records say. Because Boyden is still under state supervision, it is unlikely he would be released even if bond were posted while the robbery case is pending.
Boyden’s co-defendant, 22-year-old Brad Michael Zoanni — identified as the driver in the two hold-ups — has pleaded not guilty to two counts of robbery by accountability.
He faces felony counts of bail-jumping, criminal endangerment and drug possession in three other cases filed this year. He is being held at the county jail on a total bond of $144,500, records show. He is scheduled to go to trial March 24.
Billings police arrested Zoanni on Nov. 19 outside Wal-Mart, 2525 King Ave. W., after an off-duty officer in the area recognized him, police said.
The officer reported Zoanni’s whereabouts to dispatch and followed him until additional officers arrived and pulled him over outside the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot, according to police.
Officers then arrested Zoanni at gunpoint without further incident.
On Nov. 1, police attempted to arrest Zoanni, but he sped away from officers — driving head-on into traffic on Central Avenue and forcing other motorists to dodge him, which prompted police to call off a pursuit, according to charging documents.