Crime

Court: Suspected robbers targeted prostitute using personal ads

For days, Jeremiah Hunt and two other suspects meticulously planned their April robbery of Decatur-based sex worker Taylor Bates using her website and personal ad website backpage.com, according to court testimony.

Hunt, 20, faced conspiracy, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, armed robbery, aggravated assault, battery with physical harm and pointing a gun charges during a Friday Recorder's Court hearing. His hearing comes more than three months after suspected cohorts Ricky Lewis, 26, and Martavian Jackson, 21, faced similar charges for the same offense.

On April 14, Bates told officers she was waiting for her clients at the 3201 Macon Road La Quinta Inn who hired her at a rate of $85. Hunt, wielding a firearm, burst in with Lewis and Jackson and took the woman's wallet, which contained $1, a pink cell phone and a knife.

When the suspects scattered, police caught sight of two of the fleeing men and pursued. Another officer, flagged down for assistance, spotted Lewis huddled by a nearby McDonald's dumpster.

Lewis led police back to Bates, who was arrested during the investigation on charges of possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of drug related objects. When officers questioned Lewis about his actions, Lewis allegedly responded he didn't think robbing Bates would matter because "who cares about prostitutes?"

During later police interviews, Lewis and Jackson identified Hunt as the person who wielded the weapon during the robbery. They also said Hunt initiated the plan to rob Bates by searching for a potential target through backpage.com and Bates' personal website.

Judge Michael Cielinski set no bond on Hunt's charge of aggravated assault. He set Hunt's remaining bond at $32,000.

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