The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Teens to be tried as adults in home-invasion case
BY KEITH EPPS
Two 16-year-old Stafford County boys accused in three area home-invasion robberies will be tried as adults.
Robert Cox III and Michael North are charged with multiple offenses, including robbery, burglary and abduction.
They have been tied to two recent robberies in Widewater Village in Stafford and one in the 5500 block of Slater Street in Oak Grove Terrace in Spotsylvania County.
The decision to have them tried as adults came following a preliminary hearing this week in Stafford. Terry Adolfo Welch III, 18, is also charged in one of the robberies.
This week’s hearing involved a June 19 robbery on Everglades Lane.
The evidence presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen showed that the three teens broke into the home of Michael Newman early that morning.
Newman testified that his doorbell rang about 1 a.m., but he didn’t open the door because he didn’t see anyone outside.
As he walked through his kitchen, Newman was attacked by the masked intruders, who were already inside.
One of the suspects later told police that they got Welch to ring the doorbell in order to lure the victim downstairs. The suspects were armed with knives.
According to testimony, the intruders marched Newman upstairs and grabbed his wife. They threatened to stab her if he resisted.
Newman picked up some scissors at one point, but decided against using them after the suspects again threatened his wife.
They eventually put Newman in a closet and one of them stood guard while the others plundered through the house.
During the ordeal, Newman was assaulted several times with punches to the head and ribs. His wife was slapped, knocking her glasses off.
Finally, while two of the suspects were looting his home, Newman got hold of a knife and tried to get himself and his wife out of the home.
One of the teens yelled for help and the others ran upstairs. During the ensuing scuffle, Newman cut his assailants and got his wife out of the home. He heard one of the suspects yell “I’m stuck.”
Cox, who was stabbed in the side, told his friends that he didn’t want to die and was not worried about being caught.
He told them to get help and the others left their bleeding friend.
A short time later, a deputy spotted North, and the teen ran off. That same deputy saw Cox on the ground moaning and called an ambulance.
North, who was already out on bond, was arrested after he showed up at Stafford Hospital to be treated for a cut to the hand.
Welch was convicted of grand larceny and assault by mob on June 7 in Stafford Circuit Court and got a suspended sentence, court records show.
The other robberies involving Cox and North both occurred on May 21.
One also took place in Widewater Village; a couple was forced to walk around naked while being robbed at knife-point by masked intruders.
A few hours earlier, a 46-year-old woman was robbed and tied up in her Spotsylvania home by two young males.
Stafford Detective Michelle Gibbons got detailed statements from the younger teens following their arrests for the Newman incident.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404