Friday, March 26, 2004

Robbery victim says he pled for his life at gunpoint


After he was robbed at gunpoint and forced to take off his clothes, Fayetteville resident Jeremiah Howard thought his attackers were going to kill him, he testified in court Thursday.

Howard testified in the trial against Julian Charles Webb, 20, of Fayetteville.

Webb is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault and contends he is innocent. The jury was still deliberating the case Thursday afternoon.

Two other suspects have pled guilty to aggravated assault and agreed to testify against Webb.

Howard said he thought he was going to buy car rims from the two men who attacked him, one of whom he knew from summer school and working at Taco Bell. Webb, who Howard knew through a mutual friend, set up the transaction, Howard said.

Howard met the two suspects at Just For Feet at the Fayette Pavilion, where they arranged to meet at a home in the Princeton Chase subdivision, he said.

Once there, after going to the trunk of the suspects’ car to look at the rims, a third person came out from behind the bushes and surprised Howard, he said.

“He said, “Get down, my (racial epithet), get down!” Howard told the jury.

Howard said he then ducked and took the cash out of his pocket at the same time, handing it to one of the suspects.

After he was ordered to take his clothes off and lay on the ground, Howard said one of the suspects put a gun to his head. At that point, Howard said he was afraid he would be shot to death, so he made up a story: that he had a son, and he begged for his life saying he wanted to live to take care of his son.

The attackers bought the story and told him to stay on the ground until after they left, Howard said.

In addition to the cash and a handgun that was taken from Howard, audio-visual equipment was stripped from his car.


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