At 4:30AM on Friday morning, an armed robbery was reported at the Austin Residence Complex. Two Kennesaw State University football players are accused of being involved in the on-campus incident. Both athletes have been dismissed from the team.
Akebren Rall and his teammate, Jai'len Edwards are facing charges of armed robbery, gambling, and maintaining a disorderly house.
The armed robbery charge is the most serious out of the charges that the two former student athletes face. The offense of robbery is well-known to most people - the taking of property from another person in his or her immediate presence intending to commit theft. Armed robberies, however, are viewed and handled much more seriously than robberies. This is because although robberies often involve intimidation or force, armed robberies add the presence of a weapon.
As usual, let's jump into the law.
Armed Robbery in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines armed robbery in Georgia as when a person “with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device have the appearance of such weapon” (O.C.G.A. §16-8-41).
What constitutes an “offensive weapon” regarding armed robbery in Georgia?
Georgia Courts have had quite a difficult time as to what constitute an offensive weapon. After years of debate, Georgia has established that offensive weapons include not only guns, machetes, swords, knives, but also, any instrumentality that may be found by a jury as likely to produce death or great bodily injury. These instrumentalities may not commonly be considered to be offensive but become offensive depending on the manner and means of their use.
The test for other unconventional weapons is whether the manner in which it was used constituted an offensive weapon. Whether an instrument represents a deadly or offensive weapon is one for the jury's determination. Over the years, a starter pistol, nun chucks, tire tool, screwdriver, pellet gun, and skillet are just some of the things the jury found to be an offensive and/or a deadly weapon.
What is the penalty for an armed robbery conviction?
The offense of armed robbery is considered a seriously violent felony. A conviction can include the penalty of a minimum of ten years in prison to life in prison or even the death penalty. Unlike most criminal offenses in Georgia, the ten year mandatory prison sentence cannot be probated.
A defense tactic is to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge to robbery from armed robbery. This will remove the mandatory 10 years in prison that is required by an armed robbery conviction.
If you or a loved one has been accused of committing armed robbery in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today. Our attorneys will take the time to examine your case and see what Georgia Criminal Defenses may apply. Let us protect your freedom.