By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
ONE of three men accused of being a part of an armed robbery ring that recently targeted a popular web shop asked a magistrate yesterday to put him in protective custody at the prison.
Cody Newton, 19, Travis Stuart, 19 and Rasheed Johnson, 18, appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt on two counts of armed robbery concerning the December 15 gunpoint hold-up of an operator and patron of the Island Game web shop on Charles W Saunders Highway.
It is alleged that the trio, while armed with a handgun, robbed the employee of $1,100 cash belonging to the web shop and robbed a patron of his iPhone 6 worth $700.
During the arraignment, where they were not allowed to enter a plea to the charges, Newton informed the magistrate of information he received while the men were held in police custody.
Newton claimed there were persons connected to the establishment at the prison who were likely to target them.
“I just come out of prison and I know what it is like up there. Please put us in the remand centre,” Newton asked the court.
“I can place on the warrant that the superintendent puts you in protective custody but I can’t run the prison no more than the prison can run the court,” the chief magistrate said.
In a separate arraignment, Johnson and Stuart were charged in connection with an armed robbery that also occurred on December 15.
It is alleged that they robbed a woman, at gunpoint, of a $30 handbag, $120 cash, an iPhone 4 worth $350 and a Blu phone valued at $150.
The woman reportedly was walking on Wilton Street when three men in a black Honda CRV vehicle pulled up and robbed her.
In the third arraignment before the chief magistrate, Newton and 19-year-old Corey Davis were charged with armed robbery concerning the December 14 gunpoint carjacking of Edwin Johnson.
Johnson was accosted and robbed of his $25,000 Ford Everest, a Blackberry phone, a $150 Seiko watch and $60 cash.
Johnson and Stuart were further charged with stealing and dishonestly receiving a Honda CRV on December 10 belonging to Gardenie Merlander.
As both charges are electable offences, the pair said they wished to be tried in Magistrate’s Court and pleaded not guilty.
They are to appear before Magistrate Samuel McKinney on January 19, 2016 to receive a date for trial concerning the stealing and receiving charges.
The armed robbery cases of Newton, Stuart, Johnson and Davis will be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court through the presentation of a voluntary bill of indictment scheduled for February 17, 2016.
Newton and a 17-year-old juvenile, who were both charged with the November 29 attempted murder of Damile Campbell, will also have their matter forwarded to the Supreme Court on that date.
All accused were remanded to the Department of Correctional Services without bail.