Columbia home invasion suspect to be tried as adult

Friday, July 3, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The juvenile suspect in two related home invasion robberies has been certified to stand trial as an adult.

Columbia resident Austin J. Hammers, 16, was arrested May 13 on suspicion of armed robbery in two home invasions. The first happened at 707 Old Plank Road on April 19, and the second occurred at 3700 Bent Oak Drive on May 4.

On April 19, three males entered the Old Plank Road residence with shotguns, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department. Electronics and an undisclosed amount of cash were taken from the residence.

Four armed suspects entered the Bent Oak Drive home on May 4 and demanded money from the victims. The suspects took electronics, an undisclosed amount of cash, jewelry and a car that was found abandoned in a northeast Columbia neighborhood, according to previous Missourian reports.

Hammers' certification to stand trial as an adult is for two counts of armed robbery. Each count carries a $50,000 bond, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

CPD Officer Jessie Haden said she didn't know why the court decided to certify Hammers as an adult. It is not a police-driven process, Haden said, and she doesn't know what the court looked at with regard to police reports before deciding the certification.

Hammers is one of four suspects in each robbery. Devin D. Jackson, Antoine Johnson-Harris and Amileo J. Lawson were arrested in connection with the home invasion at 707 Old Plank Road. Jackson, Avery Y. Nelson and Wesley M. Nelson were arrested in connection with the home invasion at 3700 Bent Oak Drive, the news release stated.

All the suspects were arrested before May 13, Haden said.

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Ray Shapiro July 3, 2009 | 12:28 a.m.

("During the Bent Oak Drive robbery, a handicapped man in a wheelchair was hit in the head with a shotgun, police said")
Source and more...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr July 3, 2009 | 4:53 a.m.

Give this kid the maximum sentence.

(Report Comment)
Greg Collins July 3, 2009 | 9:19 a.m.

I'm sure this is all a big misunderstanding. He had probably left the Scout troop meeting -- after doing his honors class homework, feeding the pets and doing his chores at home --was probably on his way to the big community choir practice, got lost and accidentally stumbled into the victim's home looking for directions.

Oh wait, those are all behaviors and traits that are shunned as too .... what is the word? Successful? Character building? Silly me. They require parental involvement, don't they?

(Report Comment)

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