COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A group of robbers appeared before a Muscogee County judge today after allegedly robbing a T-Mobile store on Veterans Parkway last month.
All four suspects pleaded not guilty to three counts of armed robbery and kidnapping.
Defense attorneys argued their clients are being charged too harshly. They claim that the “guns” used were actually just screwdrivers with socks over them and that the 3 charges are excessive.
Police say 23-year-old Brandon Rhodes, 28-year-old Lloyd James, 21-year-old Carlique Goode, and 24-year-old Nasir Hicks all traveled from Atlanta to Columbus to rob the store
Police believe there was also one more suspect involved but have not yet been able to identify or arrested them.
Testimony reveals that on the evening of Jan. 30th the unknown suspect walked inside the store to look around then left and returned with the band of thieves.
The suspects allegedly pulled weapons on the store managers and forced them into the back of the store, which is what led to the kidnapping charges.
They then forced the store clerk to give them nearly $15,000 worth of merchandise.
Afterwards, witnesses told police they saw the suspects leave, get into a car, and drive off at a high speed. The suspects then led police on a chase through Harris County that ended when the suspects crashed the car and fled on foot. Four of the five were taken into custody, later that night.
Police believe the 5th suspect is in the Atlanta area and continue their investigation.