The suspect in an alleged robbery at Cumberland Mall was bound over to Superior Court for trial by Magistrate Court Judge Gerald Moore this afternoon. Defense attorney David Marshall argued that the evidence against his client, Jubril Walker of Atlanta, did not meet the criteria for a charge of robbery.
Walker was charged with two felonies: robbery and terroristic threats, for an incident that allegedly occurred at Zumiez, inside the mall, on September 29 just before 2 p.m.
Officer D.P. Goduto, of the Cobb County police department, testified in the courtroom.
At the time of the alleged robbery, he was working what he described as an extra job in the mall, when he received a call from the Zumiez store about the incident. When he arrived the suspect had left the area. Goduto spoke to one of the employees who told him that the assistant manager had called for his help. She was attempting to stop a male subject from leaving with a $30 Champion shirt in plain view in his bag. The male employee also reported seeing the shirt.
The employee said that as he approached he heard the suspect threaten to shoot the manager in the face. The employee feared for his life and backed away, and the assistant manager grabbed the shirt and hid.
Goduto said that while he and fellow officer O. Johnson, who had responded to the call, were interviewing the employee, the suspect walked back into the mall. They detained and patted the suspect down and found no weapon.
Goduto said he read Walker his Miranda Warning, and the suspect agreed to talk without an attorney. Walker denied the account given by the assistant manager and the employee, and said that the assistant manager was racially profiling him.
While this was going on Officer Johnson interviewed a customer who corroborated the account of the employee and the assistant manager.
The defense argument
The defense attorney, Marshall, cited a precedent in which a Georgia court ruled that if the suspect already had the item being stolen in their possession, and attempted to flee by force, it wasn’t a robbery, but shoplifting followed by aggravated assault.
Assistant District Attorney Marc Cella argued that the suspect didn’t have possession of the shirt since he had not yet left the store, and that the threat of shooting the assistant manager was enough to charge him with robbery.
The judge agreed with the assistant district attorney’s position, and bound the suspect over for trial on charges of both terroristic threat and robbery.
Moore set Walker’s bond at $15,000, and banned him from Cumberland Mall. He was also ordered to undergo pretrial drug screenings, forbidden from possessing weapons, and ordered to have no contact with witnesses.