A Columbus man pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges Thursday during a Recorder’s Court hearing in connection with robberies at the Carousel Lounge.
Ruben Earnest Burts, 22, faces three counts of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of possessing a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime and theft by taking a motor vehicle. He was taken into custody at the 3003 Victory Drive strip club at 2:45 a.m., less than 30 minutes after women were robbed in the parking lot and their 2006 Kia Sportage was stolen.
Judge Mary Buckner ordered Burts held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail on the armed robbery and assault charges. All the charges were bound over the Muscogee Superior Court.
Three women were riding around looking for a friend when Burts said he was familiar with the man and would help them locate him. Once inside the vehicle, police said Burts is accused of pulling a knife and cutting one woman on her side and hitting another.
After taking $450 from one woman, police said Burts drove off in their Kia and stopped later to ask a man for money. He pulled a knife and took the man’s wallet with $12.
During a investigation, police said the case may be related. One of the women victims found a picture of Burts on Facebook and gave the information to police.
Burts photo was showed to the man who lost his wallet and he identified him as the robbery suspect.