Probable cause found in Cobb County to charge man with carjacking, illegal weapon modification

Doorway to magistrate court, the court which conducts eviction hearings

by Caleb Groves

Last Tuesday a Cobb County Magistrate Court judge found probable cause for an 18-year-old Lithonia man to be prosecuted for carjacking and armed robbery.

The defendant was charged with four felonies, including armed robbery, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm while committing a crime and possession of a modified gun.

Police testimony

According to Detective B.J. Henderson of the Cobb County Police Department, the Lithonia man found a 2018 Dodge Charger on Facebook Marketplace. After discussing details with the seller, they met up at the seller’s house to take it for a test drive to a nearby Racetrac gas station.

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Once they got to the gas station, the defendant lifted his shirt, displaying a pistol in his waistband and told the seller to get out of the car. The seller complied and the man took the car and sped away.

Police were granted a search warrant for the Lithonia man’s home and the Dodge Charger, Henderson said.

Inside the man’s house, where he lives with his mother, the police found a black Glock with a tan pistol grip and a Glock switch on his bed. A Glock switch is a device that turns the semi-automatic pistol fully automatic. Alongside the pistol, police found a stolen rifle.

After police viewed footage of the Lithonia man and his friends in the car with the gun on Instagram and interviews with the seller of the car, police believe that the gun described by the seller and the gun found on the man’s bed is the same.

However, defense attorney David Gastley argued the camera footage from the Racetrac does not show the Glock that police found.

The top-down angle of the security footage made it difficult to view the gun and the seller in the car, Henderson said.

Gastley questioned whether the gun was involved because, initially, the seller said that the gun was pointed at him. However, the seller later clarified, due to a language barrier, that the gun was in the man’s waistband.

Judge Michael McLaughlin’s Decision

Judge McLaughlin found there to be probable cause for all four felony charges and decided to withhold bond from the man due to the nature of the charges.

“I hope that there is a light bulb moment in your head that you will never do something like this again,” McLaughlin said to the defendant.

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest]

Caleb Groves is a Journalism student at Kennesaw State University, where he is a junior.

Originally from Minnesota, Caleb moved to Georgia with his family, where he now lives in Woodstock with his Father, Stepmom and numerous pets.

When he is not in writing, in class or coaching rock climbing, he spends his time listening to music and rock climbing both indoors and out

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