A Columbus jury is weighing the destiny of two males on trial for a collection of 5 armed robberies and two smash-and-grab break-ins focusing on neighborhood shops right here within the fall of 2018.
However these seven circumstances have been about half the incidents police thought have been associated on the time, a detective advised the court docket on the trial’s final day of testimony Monday.
Police Sgt. Daybreak Tuning testified that investigators have been probing the string of 16 robberies or break-ins that started on Aug. 31 and ended Oct. 17, 2018.
Chief Assistant District Lawyer Don Kelly stated authorities consider the suspect circumstances associated to the seven incidents trial perpetrated all of these crimes, however prosecutors selected to pursue the with the perfect proof.
Police charged 4 suspects within the theft ring earlier than two agreed to testify and plead responsible afterward. The 2 defendants on trial are Montavious Travon “Cash” Ogletree, 23, and Amileus Keyshone “Mick Mick” Thomas, 24.
Ogletree is charged with two counts every of armed theft and of smash-and-grab housebreaking.
Thomas is charged with 5 counts of armed theft, two of smash-and-grab housebreaking and one in every of aggravated assault.
The suspects testifying towards them have been Victoria Lashay Thomas, 31 — Amileus Thomas’ sister — and Rashid Lamon Ricks, 35, Victoria Thomas’ boyfriend and the daddy of one in every of her seven kids.
Victoria Thomas and Ricks testified on Friday, figuring out Amileus Thomas and Ogletree because the masked males robbing or breaking into the companies. However they insisted Victoria Thomas participated in just one theft, the place she was recorded by safety cameras appearing as a scout watching the shop shut, earlier than her brother her and Ogletree robbed it.
In circumstances accusing Victoria Thomas of being one of many masked robbers, she and Ricks insisted another person was concerned.
In his closing argument Monday, Kelly advised jurors the couple don’t desire Victoria Thomas to go to jail, separating her from their months-old daughter.
“I believe Mr. Ricks is attempting to guard the mom of his youngster,” Kelly stated.
Nonetheless she is to serve time, as a result of the plea deal provided in trade for her testimony was 15 years, with 10 to serve and the remainder on probation, she testified. She is charged with three counts of armed theft and one depend every of theft by receiving stolen property, and being a convicted felon with a firearm.
Ricks testified that prosecutors provided him a 20-year sentence with 10 to serve in jail. He faces the identical costs.
The seven circumstances
Listed below are the seven incidents at trial:
to Sept. 25 smash and seize housebreaking at Zelmo’s Zip In, 3651 Weems Highway, the place two intruders threw a rock via the glass door and stole lottery tickets. Ogletree and Montavious Thomas are charged.
The second Sept. 25 smash and seize housebreaking at a Zelmo’s Zip In at 4001 Miller Highway, a couple of mile away from the primary, the place extra lottery tickets have been taken. Ogletree and Montavious Thomas are charged.
to Sept. 25 armed theft at Veterans Grocery, 739 Veterans Parkway. Ogletree and Montavious Thomas are charged.
to Sept. 27 armed theft at Nick’s Meals Mart, 5018 Hamilton Highway. All 4 suspects are charged.
An Oct. 2 armed theft at Veterans Grocery. Ricks and the Thomas siblings are charged.
An Oct. 17 armed theft at Floyd Meals & Lottery, 1600 Floyd Highway. Ricks and the Thomas siblings are charged.
An Oct. 17 armed theft at Ray’s Meals Mart, 3822 Hamilton Highway. Ricks and the Thomas siblings are charged.
Every week after the Ray’s Meals Mart theft, Columbus police searched an residence Ricks and Victoria Thomas shared at 543 Third Ave., discovering a number of items of proof, together with weapons, masks, gloves, baggage and clothes used within the crimes, plus lottery tickets stolen from the Zelmo’s shops.
However attorneys for these on trial disputed whether or not police might tie that proof to their purchasers, noting investigators couldn’t show that Amileus Thomas or Ogletree ever stayed on the residence.
That Ricks and Victoria Thomas claimed the 2 males on trial introduced these gadgets to there may be not enough, the attorneys stated, as a result of these suspects would need to blame others, to dodge duty.
Anthony Johnson, who represents Amelius Thomas, advised jurors police had no proof to indicate Thomas lived along with his sister and her boyfriend: no payments or different correspondence delivered to him there, no title on a lease, no DNA, no fingerprints, and no surveillance to indicate him coming or going.
Police noticed the title “Amelius” spelled in magnetic letters caught to the residence’s fridge, however anybody might have completed that, Johnson stated.
Allen Jones, who represents Ogletree, famous the identical for his consumer, including in his closing argument that police additionally offered on mobile phone monitoring to indicate Ogletree was close to the residence or the focused companies.
He additionally famous that testimony from Ricks and Victoria Thomas, each convicted felons, didn’t completely match, and that was sufficient “affordable doubt” for jurors to acquit his consumer, he stated.
“Their very own tales aren’t per one another,” he stated. “That’s doubt.”
After closing arguments ended Monday and Choose Bobby Peters instructed jurors on the regulation they have to apply to the proof, jury deliberations started Tuesday morning.