Cracking down on Albany gun crimes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cracking down on Albany gun crimes

October 11, 2006

Albany -- Prosecutors say they are going to crack down on gun crimes in Albany. Two young men indicted in a series of armed robberies in Northwest Albany could face up to life in prison.

Seventeen-year-old Silas Jackson and 22-year-old Michael Phillips were indicted by a Dougherty Grand Jury on 23 counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault, and firearm charges. Prosecutors say Jackson and Phillips were two of the three masked men who committed three armed robberies.

Jackson and Phillips are charged with robbing Robert Proctor on Firestone Drive in East Albany, and stealing his 1998 Lincoln Town Car. Prosecutors say that night the two used that car when they robbed Jermund Pollard and Annie Paige at gunpoint on Partridge Drive. Then went around the block and minutes later robbed Mike and Mandy Flynn on Flamingo Lane.

Because they used guns in these robberies, Prosecutors say they could face possible life sentences if convicted. Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Edwards said "We'd like for people to be aware of the consequences of armed robbery. That's one of the things we will emphasize. A lot of people, a lot of young people don't understand the gravity of putting a gun in someone's face, and taking property. "

Georgia law says the minimum sentence for using a gun during a robbery is ten years in prison without chance of parole.

Jackson and Phillips trial has not been set, but Edwards says the soonest it could be held is January 2007. The victims say three masked men robbed them, but only Jackson and Phillips have been arrested in those crimes.

Outrage over those robberies and a spree of other crimes in Northwest Albany sparked a number of neighborhood watch groups to organize. One neighborhood watch group based in the Doublegate community will meet Wednesday night at 6:30 at the Doublegate Country Club.

 Organizers say more than 300 people have signed up to attend, concerned about the high crime rate in their neighborhood.

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