TALLADEGA COUNTY -- A Talladega County jury of seven women and five men was selected Monday to try Justin Lamar Curry, 27, of Talladega, on three counts of robbery in the first degree, two counts of burglary in the first degree and two counts of assault in the second degree in connection with an incident in the Renfroe Community in June 2017.
All three charges involve the use of a firearm, meaning that if he is convicted of each of the robbery and burglary charges, he faces penalties of 20 to 99 years or life in prison. He would face 10 to 20 years in prison for each of the assault charges if convicted.
Curry, Dontavis Tyrail “Krino Krinoo” Jamerson and Wardarius Mobley are all charged with setting up a meeting with an individual on Ridge Lane to buy a .22 handgun. Evidence presented at trial Tuesday from an FBI electronics forensics agent showed Curry’s phone had been in contact with one of the three original victims in the case, and that someone using Jamerson’s account had contacted the same victim about buying the gun.
According to witnesses called by the state, the first three victims in the case were two brothers, ages 15 and 18 at the time, and a family friend, also 18 at the time.
The three suspects rolled up to the first three victims in a silver Dodge Charger. Mobley was driving, and Jamerson was in the back seat; Curry, wearing a trench coat in spite of it being a hot night, was seated on the passenger side of the car, although witnesses did not agree on whether he was in front or in back.
Curry and Jamerson got out of the car and walked with the first three victims down a hill to test fire the gun that was being sold. After Jamerson fired a test shot, the witnesses agreed he turned the gun on the sellers, and Curry took a gun out from under his trench coat. By this time, Mobley had joined the other two, and was also armed.
Curry and Jamerson allegedly took the older of the two brothers with them, forcing him to knock on the doors of two neighboring properties occupied by people who would recognize his voice. The fourth victim, one of the neighbors, was robbed of a cellphone and then tied up with phone cord before they moved on to the next house.
An older couple lived at the second house and was robbed at gunpoint of an old .410 shotgun, a .38 revolver, a wallet and the woman’s purse and contents, including a $100 bill.
The third brother was left in the second house, and all three were told not to move or the robbers would come back.
Meanwhile, the younger brother and the friend were ordered to empty their pockets, which they did, turning over their cellphones. Curry was back at this point and demanded the passwords for the younger brother’s phone. When he said he could not remember his iCloud password, he said Curry shot him in the leg.
The friend looked up and said that he made eye contact with Curry, who then shot him through the thigh. All three suspects then fled in their car, according to the testimony.
The younger brother was taken to the emergency room at Brookwood Baptist Health Center/Citizens Baptist Medical Center, while the friend was airlifted to University of Alabama Birmingham at Hospital. Both men were treated and released for through and through gunshot wounds.
The mother of the two brothers called the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office, and the victims provided a description of the vehicle. A deputy responding to the call spotted the vehicle near the Talladega County Metro Jail and gave chase.
The chase proceeded into the city of Talladega and ended near Knoxville Homes, when the suspects bailed out of the car. A foot chase ensued, involving a deputy and a Talladega police officer, that eventually resulted in the capture of Curry.
Tied to the drawstring of Curry’s pants was a 9 mm with a flashlight mounted on it that had been described by at least two of the burglary victims, as well as a .22 revolver, a .38 revolver and ammunition, among other things.
After being taken into custody, Curry said he thought he had taken too many Xanax and was taken from the jail to the emergency room, where he encountered two of his previous victims, who identified him.
Curry is being represented by attorney Bennett Webb, whom he has tried to fire on at least two occasions since the trial began, arguing that Webb is not asking the questions of witnesses that Curry wants him to ask. Circuit Judge Will Hollingsworth has ordered the trial to continue, and that Curry is not in a position to represent himself against charges this serious in a case that has already begun.
In addition, the alternate juror that was selected Monday morning had to be dismissed after stating he remembered he might have been related to some of the victims after he had been seated.
Jamerson pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this summer and is serving 120 months in prison on the two assault charges and 198 months on the other charges. Charges against Mobley are still pending.
The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Steve Giddens, Chief Assistant District Attorney Christina Kilgore and Assistant District Attorney Brittany Ford.
Giddens said the state will put on forensic evidence Wednesday morning and will then likely rest its case.