DECATUR — Two Decatur men are facing pretrial hearings on Jan. 28 after pleading not guilty to a string of felony charges connected with home invasions in which prosecutors said victims were beaten and one child was threatened with being shot to death.
Rahiam A. Shabazz and Dondrion L. Austin, both 18, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on Wednesday. They were represented by attorney David Ellison and formally arraigned before the Jan. 28 pretrial date was set. Jeffrey Geisler was selected as the trial judge.
Both are accused of being part of a gang of five who terrorized homeowners in three home invasions that took place over several hours the night of Nov. 20.
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A sworn Decatur police affidavit about the case said the home invaders were armed and used their guns to beat and club victims while ransacking homes for money and more weapons. Police said one grandfather, clubbed to the floor, had to watch as the home invaders shoved a gun barrel inside the mouth of his grandson, aged under 10, and then threatened to kill him if they weren’t told the location of money and weapons inside the house.
Shabazz is charged with three counts of home invasion causing injury, five counts of home invasion with a firearm, four counts of armed robbery, three counts of armed violence and three counts of residential burglary. He also is charged with two counts of aggravated possession of stolen guns, three counts of aggravated battery causing bodily harm, five counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and six counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Austin is charged with three counts of home invasion causing injury, five counts of home invasion with a firearm, four counts of armed robbery and four counts of armed violence. He is also charged with three counts of residential burglary, one count of aggravated possession of a handgun, four counts of aggravated battery causing bodily harm, five counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of kidnapping.
Shabazz is being held in the Macon County Jail with no bond available and Austin is being held there in lieu of posting bond set at more than $1 million.
The three others charged in the case: Raymond D. Graham, 24, Byron D. Theus, 19, and 16-year-old Mikhail D. Gordon, face broadly similar charges and are also held in custody. Gordon is a juvenile but his case was transferred to adult court at the request of the state attorney’s office.
Graham’s case is due for a pretrial hearing Feb. 1, while Theus and Gordon have pretrial dates scheduled for Jan. 28.
Photos: 2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review
Arrest and booking photos are provided by law enforcement officials. Arrest does not imply guilt, and criminal charges are merely accusations.…
Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid