Updated Mon, Mar 24, 2014 10:46 am
Two local men have been charged in a robbery case in which they are accused of using Craigslist to “entice” their victim.
Jace K. Johnson, 19, and Michael Nowell, whose age was not listed, face charges of aggravated robbery, conspiracy and telecommunications fraud, all felonies, for an incident that took place in August.
Nowell was most recently arraigned, pleading not guilty to the charges on March 12, according to court documents. Johnson was arraigned and pleaded not guilty on March 3.
In both cases, the men are charged with committing robbery with a deadly weapon upon a Nelsonville man at an apartment on Route 691.
On Aug. 2, according to a bill of particulars that was recently filed in Johnson’s case, the two men planned the commission of the robbery after they “sought to entice men responding to a fictitious Craigslist personal advertisement to come to their apartment so that they could steal from them by threat of force...”
In both indictments, Johnson and Nowell are charged with brandishing a deadly weapon, listed as a Stinger AR style airsoft rifle.
Officers were dispatched to the apartment on the report of a man being robbed at gunpoint. The victim told police the two men had given him a verbal command to get on the ground and that one man had brandished a weapon. The victim fled and called 911 from a nearby house, according to court documents.
The two are also charged with telecommunications fraud, for devising a “scheme to defraud” and transmitting data “with purpose to execute or otherwise further the scheme to defraud.”
“Defendant did post an ad on Craigslist, and then communicate with another individual via text messages, to facilitate the robbery of another individual,” the bill of particulars states.
In Johnson’s case, a pre-trial has been scheduled for April 2 and a jury trial has been scheduled for May 20. Johnson was released on a recognizance bond, with the condition that he have no contact with Nowell.
Nowell, who remains in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail with an unspecified bond, is scheduled to have a pre-trial on April 14 and a jury trial on May 22.