A 19-year-old Milledgeville man is expected to spend the next 12 years of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty to assorted felony criminal charges Monday afternoon in Baldwin County Superior Court.
Cameren Omund Henry’s plea came just a day before jury selection was to begin for his trial as to the charges that stemmed from the January armed robbery of the Flash Foods Store at 166 Georgia Highway 49 West in Baldwin County.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Savanna Roughen said Henry pleaded guilty to the following charges: two counts of aggravated assault, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a First Offender probationer.
During a plea-negotiation between Roughen and Henry’s defense attorney, John Bradley, who serves as chief public defender of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, two additional charges - both of which involved false imprisonment - were dismissed.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Amanda S. Petty sentenced Henry to a total of 40 years with the first 12 of those years to be served in confinement, Roughen told The Union-Recorder in a Wednesday morning telephone interview. The remainder of Henry’s sentence is to be served on probation after he is released from prison, Roughen said.
The assistant district attorney said Henry spent most of the day Monday thinking about what he was going to do - whether he wanted to plead guilty to the crimes or go forward with a trial.
“He knew what the offer was and he was very back and fourth as to whether he wanted a trial or a plea,” Roughen said. “Right around 4 p.m. Monday, as were winding court down, and he had to make a decision that was when he decided to enter a guilty plea.”
Roughen said had Henry opted on a jury trial that jury selection would have begun Tuesday morning and opening statements would then have been presented before actually testimony would have begun.
Henry was actually taken into custody on an outstanding probation warrant at a residence in Milledgeville after deputies assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force went there looking for him.
Henry was actually found hiding in a bathroom shower of the residence, according to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Lt. Chris Spires, who is a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.
The convenience store was robbed shortly before 4 a.m. back in January of this year, according to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sgt. Thomas “T.J.” Hargrove, who was the lead case detective investigating the case at the time.
Hargrove provided the following account of what happened:
A man, described as black and wearing dark clothing, walked into the Flash Food Store where he demanded money from the two clerks at gunpoint. The robber was further described as someone who used some sort of cloth to cover his face, and carried a backpack.
“He ordered the two clerks to go behind the counter and demanded money,” Hargrove told the newspaper shortly after the crime happened.
Hargrove said a sum of cash was given to the robber, along with two cartons of Newport cigarettes, as well as two $2 dollar bills that were described as unique in nature.
“As we were investigating the robbery, we learned of a subject that had recently been trespassed from the store as he was soliciting customers for money in the parking lot,” Hargrove said. “And after several warnings, they contacted us (sheriff’s office).”
That was actually how authorities developed a suspect in the robbery case.
Hargrove said while making the arrest on Henry, members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force saw some of what they believed to be evidence in the apartment from the robbery. A search warrant subsequently was obtained by Hargrove that led to some of the stolen money being recovered, including the two $2 bills, cigarettes, and a gun believed to have been used in the robbery of the store.
Hargrove was assisted in the case by Detective Capt. Brad King, who heads the sheriff’s office criminal investigation’s division, as well as Detectives Chris Youngblood and Chris Burrell.