The All-Ohio football player from Springfield High School admitted to his role in the robbery of a Huber Heights AT&T store, according to a court paperwork.
Caleb W. Johnson, 18 — the only adult among a group of seven teens charged in the Feb. 1 armed robbery — appeared Monday in the Montgomery County Municipal Court in Huber Heights.
A judge entered a plea of not guilty on Johnson’s behalf and set bond at $50,000 with electronic home detention (EHD) if Johnson makes bail.
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A preliminary hearing wasn’t scheduled because the judge said it’s a bypass case that will go to a grand jury for possible felony indictment and placement in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Several of Johnson’s friends and current and/or ex-teammates arrived near the end of the proceedings and prayed outside the courthouse. All of his supporters refused to be interviewed on the record.
Johnson admitted to the armed robbery, according to a complaint and affidavit filed by a detective. Johnson was charged with aggravated robbery, two counts of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
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Johnson — who attended Trotwood-Madison High School until his senior year — had no juvenile court record in Montgomery County outside of a traffic violation. Johnson, a wide receiver, was to make a recruiting visit to Eastern Kentucky University, according to coach Maurice Douglass.
After the juvenile court hearing on Friday, an aunt of one of the defendants said many of the boys knew each other from playing youth football with the Dayton Flames.
One of Johnson’s co-defendants, a 16-year-old Trotwood boy, was one of multiple juveniles charged in an April 2016 incident in which a car was stolen and drove away from a gas station with the vehicle’s driver clinging on the hood.
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Cherity Martin, 23, suffered a broken wrist, various cuts and bruises to her arms and legs and a minor head injury, according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies. She had been driving her mother’s Chrysler Sebring when she stopped to buy a soft drink.
The juvenile was 14 when that happened, according to Montgomery County Juvenile Court records and has the longest record of the six facing possible transfers to adult court.
Deputies suspected a group of juveniles were involved in the theft of a car in Moraine. The 2016 incidents resulted in the arrest of six juveniles from 14 to 17 years old for the aggravated robbery at the Valero gas station on Philadelphia Drive in Harrison Twp. and the car theft.
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Some of those juveniles also were suspected in an attempted break-in of a Sprint store at The Greene in Beavercreek.
Huber Heights police are speaking with law enforcement in Springfield and Miami Twp. to determine if similar crimes are connected to last week’s Huber Heights AT&T robbery.
The six juvenile suspects face another court hearing Feb. 16.
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