Walgreens robbery suspect to be tried as an adult


GREENVILLE — One of the four juveniles who robbed the Greenville Walgreens January 6 will be tried as an adult.

The 16-year-old defendant appeared in Darke County Juvenile Court for a probable cause hearing in his aggravated robbery case Tuesday.

The Darke County Prosecutor’s Office, represented by Assistant Prosecutors Deborah Quigley and Margaret Hayes, asked Darke County Probate and Juvenile Judge Jason R. Aslinger to bind the suspect over to adult court.

Surveillance video presented in court showed the defendant was one of two suspects who jumped over the pharmacy counter at Walgreens, pointed handguns at pharmacy employees, and demanded drugs. A third juvenile suspect reportedly lingered at the front of the store as a lookout, while a fourth juvenile acted as the getaway driver.

Greenville Police Detective Ryan Benge testified for the prosecution. He told the court he arrived at the scene of the robbery within one minute of it being reported, briefly spoke with store employees, then helped other arriving officers apprehend the suspects in a vehicle at the 800 block of Park Drive, only 500 feet away from the scene of the crime.

Benge testified officers found two loaded .40-caliber handguns and more than $10,000 worth of prescription drugs in the vehicle. Further, the four suspects matched the descriptions given by witnesses at the store.

While not objecting to the video evidence or the officer’s testimony, the defendant’s attorney, Michael Walton, argued against trying his client as an adult, saying the defendant’s age was only an aggravating factor.

“It is our position the juvenile court is the proper forum and the only meaningful manner to allow [him] to be heard,” he said.

However, Judge Aslinger ruled the evidence submitted by the prosecution, the client’s age range, and that a firearm was used in the robbery, all met the standards set by state law to proceed with the case and have the defendant tried as an adult. Some of the accused’s family members in attendance were in tears following the decision.

The court set the accused’s bond at $150,000. He will remain in custody at West Central Juvenile awaiting forthcoming hearings in Darke County Common Pleas Court.

By Erik Martin

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com

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