PERRY -- A 17-year-old was indicted Tuesday on charges of felony murder and attempted armed robbery in the shooting death of the co-owner of Marin Mexican Food Store in Warner Robins.
Jermontae Artez Moss of Warner Robins, who lives less than a half-mile from the store at 105 Bowling Drive off Watson Boulevard, was also indicted on charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, carrying a concealed weapon, and theft by receiving stolen property in relation to the .45-caliber handgun used in the shooting.
Jose Marin, 43, was shot once in the abdomen during the botched robbery attempt Sept. 22 and died shortly afterward at Houston Medical Center.
The Houston County grand jury also found that aggravating circumstances existed in the slaying, which District Attorney George Hartwig said indicates that he intends to seek life without the possibility of parole.
“This is one way to put him on notice that we intend to seek the harshest penalty we can under Georgia law,” Hartwig said.
The prosecution cannot seek the death penalty because of Moss’ age, Hartwig said. Hartwig said his understanding of the law is that the death penalty may not be sought in Georgia for defendants who were 17 and younger at the time of their crime.
Rodney E. Davis, a Warner Robins attorney representing Moss, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Javier Moreno, who was with Marin, his boss, shared his eye-witness account with The Telegraph the day after the shooting. Here is a portion of that account:
Moreno was unloading crates of tortillas with Marin behind the store when an armed man wearing a red bandanna, a black hair net, white T-shirt and black pants came out from behind a shed.
Moreno was inside a white Isuzu commercial food truck. Marin was outside at the back of the truck, holding a crate of tortillas that Moreno had handed off to him.
“Give me all your money! Give me all your money!” Moreno recalled the gunman shouting.
Marin told the gunman, “We don’t have any money to give you. We’re just unloading the truck.”
As Marin started to set the crate down, the gunman fired one shot, wounding Marin, Moreno said. Marin managed to pull a gun he kept in the back of his pants under his shirt and fired three shots as his attacker ran west toward Carl Vinson Parkway. He missed.
Officers swarmed the area for the suspect, who was later identified as Moss. Moss matched the description of the suspect and had a stolen gun on him, Warner Robins police said.
Moreno said he was interviewed at police headquarters on Young Avenue. He identified Moss as the shooter.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.