MOULTRIE — A Camilla man was convicted by jury Thursday of several charges related to a November armed robbery.

Demetrius Alexander Bell, 24, of 93 N. Butler St. in Camilla, was convicted of armed robbery, burglary, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in Colquitt County Superior Court. A co-defendant, Kelvin Bernard McCray, 24, of Skyline Drive in Albany, had previously entered a guilty plea to the robbery.

A Colquitt County trial jury returned the guilty verdict against Bell after about two hours of deliberation for the Nov. 17, 2007, home invasion and armed robbery of Salomon Garcia Pedro and Leonora Ortiz of Circle Road, according to a press release from District Attorney David Miller’s office. The trial, which began on Wednesday, resulted in guilty verdicts in five counts at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 1.

Testimony at trial indicated that shortly after midnight on the night of Nov. 17, Bell and McCray drove from Camilla to 657 Circle Road. There the defendants saw Pedro and Ortiz just returning home from work and entering their mobile home. Moments later, Bell and McCray went lo the back door of the home and, after putting on black ski masks, burst through an unlocked back door. Pedro and Ortiz were surprised in their kitchen by the two men, at least one of whom had a pistol.

McCray pushed Ortiz to the floor while Bell pushed her head down on the table. The men were able to take Pedro’s wallet, a small amount of cash, and paycheck before fleeing the scene.

The defendants attempted to make their escape in a white Dodge Neon but ran a stop sign at Circle Road and Highway 1 I 1 and crashed into a ditch in a wooded area. Moments later, before a 911 call was even issued. Deputy Hiram Cardona found the vehicle in the ditch and stopped to investigate.

Upon further investigation and a search of the area, two black ski masks, two bandanas, and a pistol were found discarded into the woods around the car. Bell was also found to have approximately 14 small bags of marijuana in his pockets along with a large amount of cash.

The following day, Nov. 18, Colquitt County sheriff’s investigators returned to the accident scene and were able to find Pedro’s wallet and his missing paycheck in the immediate vicinity of the location the car was crashed.

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