By Rosemary K. Otzman
Devon Lamar Mayes, 21, and Hyo Sang Rogers, 29, both of Taylor, were bound over to circuit court for trial on charges they took part in an armed robbery of Montroy’s Market, at the corner of Van Born and Haggerty roads, in Van Buren Township at about 6 p.m. July 11.
They are each charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault, and a weapons charge and are being held in the Wayne county Jail on bonds of $100,000 or 10% each.
Their preliminary exams were held together in front of 34th District Court Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green on Aug. 13 and there were two witnesses: the owner of the store Adil Jarvo and a customer who walked in on the armed robbery Derek Hamilton.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Shannon Walker called the first witness.
Jarvo testified that two guys walked inside the store, one white guy and one black guy. He could not identify Mayes and Rogers as the men.
He said the white guy had the gun and said, “This is a robbery. I’m not joking.” Jarvo said his brother and sister were also in the store.
Jarvo said the black guy was taking the money and the white guy said, “Make any mistake, I shoot all of you.” The black guy took the money from the cash register and Lotto register, some juices, $220 of whiskey, and a carton of Newport cigarettes, worth more than $70, and then they took off, he testified.
The next witness was Derek Hamilton who testified he was on his way home from school when he took his friend Shawana Bryant to Montroy’s so she could get a pop at about 6 p.m. July 11.
Hamilton said she took 10-15 minutes inside so he went inside to see what was taking so long and he saw her inside with her hands up, shaking her head as if to warn him about coming in. But, it was too late and the guy with the gun standing to the left of the door said, “Do anything and I’ll blow your head off.” Hamilton identified Rogers as the man with the gun.
“I did what he said,” Hamilton testified, adding “He grabbed me and pushed me to Shawana.” He said the other man was standing at the cash register and he identified Mayes.
He said Rogers pointed the black handgun toward the employees.
When they were leaving, Hamilton said Rogers said, “Don’t leave the store or I’ll kill you.”
“We didn’t leave until the police got there. I made my statement and left,” Hamilton said.
Rogers’ court-appointed attorney Eric Goze cross-examined Hamilton over the identification of his client since Hamilton said he was wearing sunglasses.
Hamilton is 6’2” and his statement described a 5’9” Asian man wearing sunglasses, the attorney said, wondering how he knew he was Asian with his face covered. The attorney said Rogers was 5’11”.
Hamilton said he determined that from the facial features. He said two detectives showed him a six-picture photo lineup an hour later at Shawana’s house and he identified the two.
Mayes’ retained attorney stand-in Caroline Chapman also cross-examined Hamilton.
When the prosecutor made a motion to bind the case over to circuit court, the attorneys for both defendants said the owner didn’t identify the men and only one man had a gun and so he shouldn’t have gun charges.
But, the prosecutor explained the theory of aiding and abetting, noting the black guy is taking items and the white guy had the gun. The witness walked into an armed robbery and was told not to move or he’d be killed.
Judge Green bound both defendants over to circuit court on all counts for an Aug. 20 arraignment on the information and the bonds were continued. She also referred both over to pretrial services for bond reviews.
The prosecutor had asked the two defendants to be kept separate from one another. Judge Green said her court had kept them separated, but “downtown hasn’t done that.”
By Rosemary K. Otzman