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Decatur robbery goes wrong when victim fights back, police said

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DECATUR — Amieron L. Barham-Perkins armed robbery plans turned into a desperate game of cat-and-mouse, a court heard, after the Decatur robbery victim fought back using his car as a weapon.

The drama on the afternoon of July 27 played out in the parking lot of a public housing complex in the 1100 block of North Calhoun Street and was caught on surveillance cameras.

Testifying at Barham-Perkins preliminary hearing Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court, Decatur police Det. Ben Massey said the video shows robbery victim Adrian T. Bates using his car to chase Barham-Perkins and his brother and accomplice, Traveon D. Hightower King-Woods, all over the parking lot.

At one point he rams the robbers’ own car and Massey said Barham-Perkins and King-Woods, who have to run and jump clear to save themselves, can be seen raising their handguns and pointing them at Bates.

Responding to questions from Macon County State’s Attorney Scott Rueter, Massey said police can’t tell from the video whether the guns are being fired or not. Responding to a question from Macon County Chief Public Defender Michelle Sanders, who was representing Barham-Perkins, Massey said the weapons used have not been found.

Massey said the robbery drama ends when Bates takes another run at the robbers and misses, disabling his vehicle after smashing it into an apartment building. Barham-Perkins, 19, and his 26-year-old brother are then seen fleeing in their own car.

Judge Rodney Forbes found probable cause to try Barham-Perkins, who is pleading not guilty to two charges of armed robbery and further charges of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and resisting police. King-Woods, who denies charges of armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a weapon, waived his own preliminary hearing Aug. 24 and is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Sept. 28.

Massey said the armed robbery itself was also captured on video, and showed the robber siblings approaching Bates as he sat in his car in the parking lot. They came at him on either side of the vehicle and Massey said Barham-Perkins can be seen brandishing a gun and pointing it at the victim.

“Mr. Barham-Perkins then leaves the area of the driver’s door where he had been confronting Mr. Bates, and it appears in the video he has money and the gun in his hands, correct?” asked Rueter.

“Yes,” replied the detective.

With the assistance of the clear video, Massey said police were able to first identify Barham-Perkins and, later, his brother.

Barham-Perkins is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Nov 1. He is being held in the Macon County Jail with bail set at $251,000, meaning he must post a bond of $25,100 to be released. King-Woods also remains jailed with his bail set at $150,000, meaning he must post a bond of $15,000 to be released.

Bates, 26, was charged with aggravated assault for using his vehicle as a weapon and criminal damage. He has yet to enter a formal plea and is due in court Monday after being given time to hire a lawyer. Bates is free after posting a $2,000 bond on bail set at $20,000.

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


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