Elmore Co. home invasion cases headed to grand jury - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Elmore Co. home invasion cases headed to grand jury

Elmore Co. Sheriff Bill Franklin holds news conference to announce arrests Wednesday. Elmore Co. Sheriff Bill Franklin holds news conference to announce arrests Wednesday.
ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) -

Six defendants charged in two home invasions near the Wallsboro Community in March appeared in court Monday.

Following a preliminary hearing, Judge Patrick Pinkston bound all the cases over to grand jury.

Pinkston declined to reduce the bonds for four defendants who have been behind bars since their arrests in March.

The four suspects charged in the home invasions are Maurise Wilkes, 16, Ikevious Summerlin, Dezal Lewis, and Debouys Bozeman, all 20. Each is charged with first degree robbery and first degree burglary. Authorities say Wilkes was the ring leader.

Three others were charged with indirect crimes related to the case.

Wilkes' mother, Katesha Wilkes, was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution for allegedly not telling investigators the truth about her son's whereabouts. She is currently out on bond.

Two others, Brittany Richardson, 20, and Genny Barefoot, 22, were arrested and charged with obstructing justice. The charge was later dropped against Richardson, and Barefoot pleaded guilty.

The suspects are said to have committed the armed home invasions to get money so they could help a female in the county jail reach her bond amount.

The Elmore County Sheriff's Office says the first home invasion happened on Williams Road in the Wallsboro Community, approximately three miles outside of Wetumpka. All four are allegedly connected to this home invasion.

The second home invasion happened Monday night between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the same general area. Summerlin and Lewis are also connected to this crime, according to authorities.

In both cases, three or four male suspects armed with handguns, rifles and shotguns were reported. Authorities say the suspects gain access to the houses by simply knocking on the door. Residents say once the door is opened, the group of males force their way inside and take control.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin described the suspects' method as "bold" and "aggressive."

"In the case last night when the homeowner opened the door, three suspects rushed in the front door while a fourth suspect crashed through the backdoor," Franklin said.

The suspects are said to have taken items from the homes including the couple's Cadillac along with other personal items. The car was found later behind a doctor's office in Wetumpka.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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