Macon teen’s armed robbery trial goes to jury

Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a 15-year-old Macon teen accused of robbing a man at gunpoint outside an apartment off Houston Avenue last December.

Dexter “D.J.” Riggins, who turns 16 on Thursday, is accused of armed robbery and firearms charges, according to Bibb County Superior Court records.

Curtis Davis told the jury he had just returned home from shopping at Family Dollar on Dec. 26, 2008. He took his purchases into his apartment off Houston Avenue and realized he’d forgotten his cigarettes in the car. Davis went out to retrieve them.

“As I was walking back up my walkway, I heard somebody running and breathing hard,” Davis said.

Then the robber put a gun to his head, demanded money and ordered Davis to drop his pants. Taking Davis’s money, the robber backed away, he said.

With one hand pulling his pants back up, Davis jumped into the apartment hallway and heard a shot ring out.

In opening statements, prosecutor John Regan said police officers found Riggins nearby soon after the robbery.

Officers found a gun, gloves and mask near where they found Riggins. Police also found a shell casing at the scene of the robbery that was the same kind used in the gun, Regan said.

Riggins’ lawyer, Jim Rockefeller, said Riggins has an alibi.

“It’s impossible (that he’s the robber),” he said.

Vanshawn Coleman, 18, testified that he and Riggins belonged to a group of neighborhood boys who were playing football near Pendleton Homes late on the afternoon of Dec. 26, 2008.

Riggins’ brother, Quintavious Everett, testified he also played football with them that day after he got off work at about 5 p.m.

He said the group played football until about 7 p.m.

Coleman said Riggins went back to his house after the boys stopped playing and stayed for about 30 minutes until he got a phone call.

Everett said he talked with Riggins sometime between 7:30-8 p.m. and made arrangements to meet and walk home together.

Riggins was walking to see his brother when he was stopped by police, Rockefeller said.

Neither Coleman nor Everett could testify to the exact times they saw Riggins. The robbery occurred at about 8 p.m.

Rockefeller said there’s no gunshot residue evidence and no DNA evidence from the mask or glove. He said no test was performed to see if the bullet found at the scene matched the gun.

Davis identified Riggins as his attacker from the witness stand Tuesday morning.

“I remember the hair, the eyes and the mouth,” Davis said.

The prosecution and defense rested their cases Tuesday. Jury deliberation is scheduled to begin today.

The 2008 armed robbery isn’t the first time Riggins has been in trouble.

He pleaded guilty to robbery by force in December 2007 in connection with another robbery in which Riggins and 20-year-old Rico Orlando Harris took a man’s pants and wallet, according to court records. Riggins’ case was transferred to Juvenile Court for sentencing, but that court has no record of a sentence being issued.

Harris was sentenced to serve five years in prison and five years on probation, according to court records.

A case accusing Riggins of murder in the December 2007 shooting death of 29-year-old Antonio Richardson is pending, according to court records.

Juvenile records show Riggins was sentenced to a year of probation in October 2006 for aggravated assault stemming from his throwing a padlock out of a bus window. The lock struck the windshield of another vehicle.

Riggins also was sentenced to perform 80 hours of community service, 60 days of suspended confinement and pay restitution, according to the records.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.