Prosecutor: Teens used Facebook to ID robbery suspect

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 14, 2012 

Two Columbus teens used a popular social media site to identify a robbery suspect accused of taking a cellphone at gunpoint, according to testimony Friday in Muscogee Superior Court.

Quentin Jones' attorney was trying to get Judge Bill Rumer to set a bond on Jones' armed robbery charge, so the suspect's family could bail him out of jail. Assistant District Attorney Don Kelly described how the 17-year-old wound up there.

Kelly said the victim, who at the time was a 16-year-old Hardaway High School student, was waiting alone for his mother to pick him up outside a teen club at 3351 N. Lumpkin Road when Jones and another youth accosted him about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 12.

Jones grabbed the 16-year-old by the neck from behind, put a gun to his head and demanded the cellphone, Kelly said, so the boy surrendered it, and Jones and his cohort left.

Kelly said one of the victim's friends later heard Jones brag about the robbery, saying "Did you see him start crying when I pulled out that gun?" The friend thought little of it, until he checked Facebook and saw the victim had posted the message he was robbed at the club.

The victim and his friend started exchanging messages, and the friend suggested the victim take a look at Jones' Facebook page to see if he was the robber, Kelly said.

That's how they decided Jones was the robber, the prosecutor said.

He said police got a warrant for Jones, but the suspect was not arrested until Nov. 15.

That's when Jones ran from a police officer checking on youths loitering outside the Lucky Lotto store at 2026 Hunter Road, Kelly said.

Catching and searching him, officers found 25 grams of marijuana divided into 18 separate bags, Kelly said.

The prosecutor said it was not Jones' first run-in with the law: He was charged with robbery in 2009 and spent 30 days in the youth detention center.

Defense attorney Michael Garner had Jones' mother testify that his client didn't need a cellphone, having his own cellphone for which he paid the bill.

Kelly countered that Jones didn't rob the other youth to get a cellphone, but just to prove that he was "mean" and tough.

The mother said her son formerly attended Kendrick High School, later earned a graduate equivalency degree and hoped to attend Columbus Technical College.

Rumer set Jones' bond on the armed robbery charge at $20,000, and ordered him to have no contact with the victim if released from jail.

Jones also faces charges of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, obstructing a police officer and using a firearm to commit a crime, according to court records.

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