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Gold teeth helped pick out armed Decatur home invader, prosecutors allege

Gold teeth helped pick out armed Decatur home invader, prosecutors allege


DECATUR — A Macon County Circuit Court judge was told Wednesday that Derondi C. Warnsley was identified as an armed Decatur home invader, in part, thanks to his mouth full of distinctive gold teeth.

Decatur police evidence presented by Patrol Officer Jacob Stewart said a woman victim of the Nov. 26, 2019, home invasion knew Warnsley and recognized him when he lifted his mask and she glimpsed his teeth and heard his voice.

Warnsley is pleading not guilty to four Class X felonies alleging home invasion and armed robbery and two Class 1 felonies alleging aggravated robbery and one count of residential burglary.

Questioned by Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott at a preliminary hearing before Judge Phoebe Bowers, Stewart said Warnsley had held the current boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint. The victim was threatened to stay away from Warnsley’s “Baby Momma” and warned that Warnsley would come back if he didn’t obey.

“And was he (the victim) also able to identify the defendant through his gold teeth and the fact he pulled down his mask exposing most of his face at one point?” asked Scott. Stewart said that was correct.

The officer had earlier said the home invasion victims described Warnsley and another masked, armed man entering their apartment in the 1400 block of East Wellington Way through a sliding rear door. As well as making threats, Stewart said they had robbed people present in the apartment and the masked man with Warnsley had gone through the residence “searching for things, damaging things” before stealing money that belonged to the former girlfriend.

Defense attorney Dave Ellison questioned Stewart about how good a look the victims had got at the man they identified as Warnsley. He also asked if any surveillance video was available of the incident and was told the police were not aware of any.

Ellison later told Bowers that he didn’t believe the prosecution had established probable cause to try Warnsley based, in part, on a glimpse of gold dentition but the judge disagreed, saying she had heard enough to proceed with the case. She set a pretrial hearing for Nov. 2.

Warnsley remains in the custody of the Macon County Jail with bail set at $175,000, meaning he must post $17,500 to be released.

Mug shots from the Herald & Review

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


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