News and Tribune

January 10, 2014

Three teens charged in Jeffersonville armed robberies

Two are juveniles facing adult trials


NEW ALBANY — Two juveniles and a 19-year-old face 15 felony charges stemming from a pair of robberies after Christmas.

Terrel Watters, 19, Louisville, Brandon Downs, 16, Jeffersonville, and Shawn Martin Jr., 16, Jeffersonville, are accused of robbing two convenience stores on Dec. 27. According to a probable-cause affidavit, a report of a robbery at the Stop N Go Food Mart, 2102 Allison Lane, came in at about 7:14 a.m. that day. Security footage showed a male with his face covered with a chrome handgun walking behind the counter and demanding the clerk give him money from the registers.

The report also says the suspect fired one shot behind the clerk, then took the money and ran.

At about 7:49 p.m. on the same day, the Jeffersonville Police Department responded to an armed robbery at Young’s Corner Store along Hamburg Pike. Two males with their faces covered entered the store, both armed with handguns. One of them matched the description of the chrome gun used at the Stop N Go Food Mart robbery.

The suspect with the chrome gun fired a shot close to the employees, then after taking cigars and money from registers and the safe, one of the men bumped into a customer on the way out of the store, then fired at them and hit their car, according to the affidavit.

Two days later, a Kentucky State Police officer pursued a car reported stolen in Louisville, occupied by three males. It crashed and Downs fled on foot. The officer apprehended Downs, finding $622 on him.

In the car, officers found a black pellet handgun, a box of 9-millimeter ammunition, cigars and cigar wraps and several pairs of black latex gloves. The owner of the car reported a chrome 9-millimeter pistol was in the car at the time it was stolen.

Watters and Martin were arrested following another robbery a few days later, according to Louisville Metro Police.

After an officer spoke to Watters, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to committing both robberies, as well as identifying Martin as the subject in the second robbery, the affidavit states.

Downs’ home was searched Jan. 2, which turned up a shoebox of cigarillo wrappers, loose tobacco and a black Airsoft handgun. In a police interview, Downs denied serving as the driver in the Dec. 27 robberies and said he wasn’t picked up by his two alleged accomplices until 7 p.m., about an hour before the second robbery.

He claimed Martin and Watters dropped him off at his home, but photos from a phone confiscated by the Kentucky State Police showed Downs in a hotel room displaying a large amount of cash. Other photos showed Watters and Martin brandishing guns and firearms similar to those on the perpetrators on surveillance video.

Watters faces a count of attempted murder, two counts of robbery, two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of criminal recklessness.

Downs faces two counts each of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, as does Martin. The two juveniles will be tried as adults.