DECATUR — A jury trial is now set for the 19-year-old Decatur man who police say was stabbed by the victim he had been attempting to rob in Johns Hill Park.
The case of Christian L. Peoples, 19, came up for a pretrial hearing Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court. Peoples has pleaded not guilty to a charge of armed robbery. His attorney, Karen Root, asked for a trial to be set for Feb. 13, and Judge Thomas Griffith agreed.
A sworn affidavit from Decatur Park Police, Officer Frank Hubbard said the crime took place around midnight Oct. 12 when the male victim was walking near the playground in the park. Hubbard said the victim was approached by the gunman, who yelled, “Run your pockets ... Gimme your (expletive) ... this ain’t a game.”
Hubbard said the suspect racked the slide back on his semi-automatic handgun but suddenly found himself fighting with a victim who wasn’t going to give in. The gun fired once during the altercation and did not hit anyone.
Interviewed by police at the scene, the victim described what happened next: “(He) stated that during this physical altercation he stabbed the armed suspect with a smaller folding knife he had. Victim stated that during the physical altercation the suspect’s mask came off. The victim identified the suspect as Christian L. Peoples, whom he has known for approximately eight years.”
Hubbard said Peoples had left his mask and a loaded handgun magazine in the park and officers soon found him “suffering from a stab wound” as he walked along near the intersection of Maffitt and Moore streets.
Armed robbery is a Class X felony carrying a six- to 20-year sentence if Peoples is convicted. Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said Peoples also could face an additional 20 years because police say he fired a gun during the course of the crime.