Waffle House robber pleads guilty, tells Georgia judge he needed cash for GED

A Macon man who went on a Fourth of July armed robbery spree last year, including a holdup of a Waffle House that netted him roughly $200 in loot, claims he needed the cash for school.

That is what Javar Rashard Haywood told a Bibb County Superior Court judge on Monday when he pleaded guilty to the Waffle House stickup and was sentenced 15 years behind bars and another 15 years on probation.

Haywood, 28, had been charged in a string of robberies that happened on July 4, 2018.

In one holdup at a Chevron gas mart on Rocky Creek Road in south Macon, a clerk was slightly wounded when a bandit opened fire and shot at him through bulletproof glass.

In the Waffle House robbery at 3620 Riverside Drive near Pierce Avenue, the gunman leaped over a counter and held a waitress at gunpoint to steal money from the cash register.

Cops tracked the getaway car to Haywood after its license plate was seen on surveillance footage outside a convenience store and Haywood’s fingerprints were found there on discarded lottery tickets.yea

Javar Rashard Haywood

In court on Monday morning, Haywood stood before Judge Howard Z. Simms as prosecutor Sandra Matson explained that it was only because Haywood admitted to his crime that a plea deal was struck.

“He could have ended up with consecutive life sentences and never seen the light of day,” Matson said.

She added that she “can only assume that drugs, possibly, played a role in this. But he basically thought he could just go across our town committing armed robberies. ... So he deserves every day that he’s getting.”

Judge Simms then asked Haywood, “What did you want this money for, son?”

“School,” Haywood said.

“School?” the judge replied. “What kind of school?”

“My GED,” Haywood said.

“What does a GED cost?” Simms asked.

“Two hundred (dollars),” Haywood answered. “If you don’t have financial aid.”

Simms thought a moment and said, “The best plan that you could come up with to get that $200 was to rob places? Were you working?”

“No, sir,” Haywood said.

“Maybe,” the judge went on, “you should have filled out an application at the Waffle House instead of (going in) to rob it.”

Simms mentioned that Haywood won’t be out of prison for a decade and a half.

“It can’t possibly have been worth it,” the judge said. “Was it?”

“No, sir,” Haywood said.

Joe Kovac Jr. covers crime and courts for The Telegraph with an eye for human-interest stories. A Warner Robins native, he joined the paper in 1991 after graduating from the University of Georgia.