A 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty today in Columbus Recorder’s Court to the 2015 Circle K armed robbery on Manchester Expressway that left a clerk and customer injured.
Trevion Baahteen Jackson, who is being tried as an adult, is the last of four individuals to be charged in the Jan. 10, 2015, holdup. He joins Courtney Hughes, 21, Tommy James Thomas, 24, and Jaquarius Davis, 15, who have all pleaded not guilty in Columbus Recorder’s Court to their individuals charges related to the 9:38 p.m. incident.
Columbus Police Sgt. Mike Dahnke said store surveillance video of the armed robbery shows each of the male suspects exiting a silver 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix that was parked outside of the 2514 Manchester Expressway gas station.
Officials said Hughes, who was identified as the getaway driver, stayed in the vehicle as the others entered the store. A clerk and customer were in the convenience store at the time, Dahnke noted.
Never miss a local story.
Police said the trio approached the front counter before Thomas withdrew a pink semi-automatic pistol, prompting the customer to run toward the front door. The juveniles grabbed the victim by his neck and beat him, but he was eventually able to flee, authorities said.
Dahnke said Thomas then pistol-whipped the clerk and slammed her head against the counter several times, leaving her with a laceration above her right eye. The suspects allegedly fled the store with $20 in cash and 16 packages of Newport cigarettes that were collectively valued at $93.
When police responded to the scene, two of the suspects were in the Pontiac parked west of the front doors and the others were headed to the car, Dahnke told the court.
The group escaped authorities, but an officer was able to get the license tag number. Police later learned the vehicle was hijacked from Atlanta earlier that day.
On Feb. 19, 2015, officials found the stolen car abandoned at a Fulton County apartment complex. Inside of the vehicle was a receipt dated Jan. 10 from a Newnan, Ga., Wal-Mart and a bag from the Columbus Circle K.
Dahnke said police obtained surveillance footage from the Wal-Mart that showed all four subjects entering the store around 7:11 p.m. and leaving at 7:18 p.m.
Google Maps indicates that the distance between that Newnan Wal-Mart and the Columbus Circle K on Manchester Expressway is about 71 miles, Dahnke noted.
Police identified Thomas and Hughes as two of the Circle K armed robbers after viewing the Wal-Mart surveillance video.
Officials learned that Thomas, Hughes and Davis were arrested in connection with a Jan. 11, 2015 home invasion in Cobb County. Davis wasn't charged in the case, but Hughes and Thomas were placed in the Cobb County Jail on related charges.
Hughes and Thomas were still incarnated when police questioned them on April 16.
Dahnke said Thomas admitted to walking into the Newman Wal-Mart on Jan. 10 with other individuals but denied being one of the suspects in the store's surveillance photos. Hughes confessed to her involvement in the armed robbery, stating that she drove the getaway vehicle, police said.
Authorities issued warrants for their arrest following the interview. The suspects weren't immediately extradited to Columbus due to their home invasion-related charges in Cobb County.
Officials identified Davis as a one of the Circle K armed robbers after learning that he was apprehended in a black jacket and Timberland-styled boots, which is what one of the armed robbers was dressed in.
Police said they were questioning Davis about the incident when he told them he was one of the people spotted in a couple of snapshots from the surveillance videos. He later recanted his statement but was taken into custody that same day.
Dahnke said warrants were issued for Jackson’s arrest in May. He didn’t release any further details about how they identified him as a suspect other than he appeared to be the same individual captured on the surveillance video.
All four defendants face two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault, while Thomas faces an additional count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.