The woman thought one of the two men who took her Dell laptop at gunpoint looked familiar.
She had been working by the pool at Willow Creek Apartments around 10:30 p.m. June 9, 2014, when two guys walked by, then came back.
One started making small talk while the other looked around. She told the one trying to flirt with her that she had a boyfriend.
He pulled out a pistol and demanded her Dell laptop, then he and the other guy ran from the 3700 Buena Vista Road apartments with the $400 computer and power cord.
The 20-year-old victim did, in fact, have a boyfriend, whom she informed of this when he got home. She told him she thought the gunman’s accomplice looked a lot like a guy her boyfriend had played billiards with at a friend’s house.
Her boyfriend told her the guy had gone to middle school with him. He got out his East Columbus Magnet Academy yearbook and flipped through it until he found his former classmate’s photo.
It was the same guy, she said. She looked him up on Facebook, started scrolling through his Facebook friends, and there found photos of the gunman, Jermel Leonard Moss.
Having reported the robbery to police, she called them back to say she’d identified the suspects. Police put together a photo lineup from which she picked their pictures.
On Aug. 15, 2014, Columbus police served a warrant for Moss’ arrest at the jail in Cobb County, where he’d been confined. They arrested his 24-year-old accomplice, too, but prosecutors later chose to drop those charges.
Moss, 27, went to trial this week in Muscogee Superior Court. His attorney, William Kendrick, argued his client was a victim of mistaken identity.
The jury got stuck during deliberations, so Kendrick and Assistant District Attorney Chris Williams made a deal for Moss to plead guilty to robbery and being a convicted felon with a firearm. Moss had an Aug. 13, 2007 conviction for burglary.
Judge Gil McBride sentenced Moss to serve 36 months of a 10-year sentence, with the rest on probation.