Alleged robber loudly objects to accusations

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 31, 2015

Accused robber objects in Troup County court, loudly

By Melanie Ruberti

LaGRANGE — The man accused of robbing the Razor Cuts Barber Shop at gunpoint made it loud and clear he was not happy with some of the charges against him during his first appearance Thursday morning in Troup County Magistrate Court.

Kenderick Jamal Smith was charged with five counts of armed robbery, five counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and eight counts of participation of criminal street gang activity.

LaGrange Police Detective Jason Duncan told the court that on the afternoon of Sept 28, Smith reportedly walked into the barber shop at 39 Thornton St. wearing a red bandana, black long-sleeve shirt and black Nike Air Force 1 tennis shoes, and holding a revolver. He allegedly told eight people who were standing in a game room in the front of the store to take their clothes off and give him their wallets and money, Duncan stated.

During the incident, Duncan said two of the victims noticed the gunman had a large uppercase “D” tattooed on his right wrist with smoke or clouds going up in arm.

On Sept. 30, a tip came in to Crime Stoppers that told detectives that Smith was the person who robbed the shop, Duncan revealed. Detectives also learned Smith had recently been released from jail for aggravated assault and armed robbery, and was on felony probation.

Duncan said investigators searched his home and discovered a black, long-sleeve shirt and black Air Force 1 tennis shoes as described by the victims. They did not find a weapon supposedly used in the crime, nor any proceeds from it.

A day later another tip came in that helped investigators find the weapon that Smith allegedly used to commit the robbery, Duncan testified. It is currently at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab being processed for DNA and fingerprints.

The detective said when he interviewed Smith, he observed the name “Duke” with a capital “D” tattooed on his right arm. It matched what the victims remembered seeing on the robber.

That testimony did not sit well with Smith.

“If I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, then how did they see anything,” he yelled across the courtroom at Duncan.

“Don’t say anything,” Smith’s defense lawyer, Jeff Shattuck, warned him.

“And watch your mouth,” presiding Magistrate Judge Vickie Sue McWaters sternly told Smith.

But the defendant grew more agitated when LaGrange Police Investigator Jarrod Anderson took the stand.

He told the court Smith was a known gang member of the Bloods and LaGrange police had Facebook pictures and posts to prove it. Anderson said the man committed the crime to increase his status within the gang.

“Lying. They’re lying,” Smith loudly told Shattuck, as he bounced up and down angrily in his chair.

“What is the date of those photos,” the defense attorney asked Anderson on cross examination.

The investigator told him he did not know.

Shattuck then asked McWaters to drop the gang charges against Smith.

“The officer cannot tell me when the Facebook pages were created or the date of those photos,” he argued.

McWaters decided to let the charges stand and bound the case over to Troup County Superior Court.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.