A teen held several students at gunpoint outside a Douglas County high school and robbed them weeks after he was expelled from the school.
On Monday, the 16-year-old was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
And after his release from prison, Mr. Rodney Jamaal Banks, of Douglasville, will be required to serve eight years on probation. He is also banished from Douglas County.
“When students can’t even go to school without being fearful of being robbed at gunpoint, then something is just flat-out wrong,” District Attorney Mr. David McDade said.
“We have to send a message that is unmistakable, that is loud, and clearly heard in this community that says we will not tolerate violent crime and violent criminals, like this one. If you decide to commit a violent crime in this community, you’d better be prepared for our response.”
Both charges stem from two separate incidents that took place on Nov. 17, 2011, according to Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley.
On both occasions, students staying after school were held at gunpoint by Mr. Banks, who school administrators said had been expelled from New Manchester High School weeks earlier.
Officers were only called after the second incident, which occurred while two teenagers were walking toward the school from the baseball field.
Mr. Banks confronted the two in the school parking lot with a black handgun, the same weapon investigators learned was used in an attempted robbery outside the high school minutes earlier, Ms. Ackley told the court.
“The defendant demanded money from both teenagers. One of students complied by emptying his pockets and book bag,” Ms. Ackley said. “The other student, ignoring the barrel of the gun pointed at his face and the defendant’s threats of shooting him, fled towards the school for help.”
Mr. Banks was arrested after being identified multiple times as the suspect.