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24-year-old Decatur man denies role in multiple violent home invasions

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Graham, Shabazz, Theus, Austin

Clockwise, top left: Raymond T. Graham, Rahiam A. Shabazz, Byron D. Theus, Dondrion L. Austin.

DECATUR — Raymond D. Graham appeared in Macon County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon at a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to being involved in a string of Decatur home invasions in which police say victims were beaten and a child was threatened with being shot.

Graham, 24, denied three counts of home invasion involving injury, five counts of home invasion with a firearm, four counts of armed robbery, four counts of armed violence and three counts of residential burglary. He also pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a stolen gun, one count of aggravated battery involving bodily harm, five counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and five counts of aggravated kidnapping.

The charges all stem from three home invasions that prosecutors said took place over several hours the night of Nov. 20. State’s Attorney Jay Scott outlined the evidence and said Graham was part of a group of five who burst into strangers’ houses brandishing guns. Several people were beaten and clubbed with guns, Scott said, and one child had a gun barrel shoved inside his mouth while his grandfather, who had been beaten to the floor, was ordered to hand over cash or the boy would be killed.

Judge Jeffrey Geisler told Graham, represented by Chief Public Defender David Ellison, that there was enough evidence to try him and set a pretrial hearing for Feb. 1. Graham remains held in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting bail set at $1.8 million.

Among his fellow co-defendants — all pleading not guilty to similar charges and all held in custody — Mikhail D. Gordon, 16, and Byron D. Theus, 19, have waived their rights to a preliminary hearing and are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 28.

Defendants Rahiam A. Shabazz and Dondrion L. Austin, both 18, have elected to have preliminary hearings now set for Jan. 2.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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