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Huntington men face charges for July 4 robbery

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

Three Huntington residents are each facing five felony charges for their alleged connection to a robbery that occurred on Independence Day, this year.

Police arrested 21-year-old Kye Mathew Young on July 24, and the Huntington County Circuit Court has issued arrest warrants for James O. Winters, 35, and Lawrence Wilson, 25. Young is currently in custody at the Huntington County Jail.

All three men are facing a Level 3 charge of robbery resulting in bodily injury, a Level 3 charge of burglary resulting in bodily injury, a Level 5 charge of conversion, a Level 5 charge of criminal confinement with bodily injury and a Level 6 charge of strangulation, according to probable cause documents.

On July 4 around 11:30 p.m., police responded to a robbery call. When police arrived, the victim told police he was shooting off fireworks with a friend, Young, before he and Young went inside of his apartment to play “Magic,” a card game.

The victim said he locked the door while he was outside and after he and Young came inside, but after playing the game for about five to ten minutes, a man attacked him, while sitting at a table with Young, according to police reports.

The attacker grabbed him by the neck, ripped his keys from his pocket, wrapped something around his face, tied his legs and hands, forced him to the ground and continued to grab him by the neck allegedly saying, “go to sleep,” and when the victim tried to fight back the attacker threatened to kill him, police reports state.

The victim said the suspects stole a TV, an estimated $2,000 worth of “Magic” cards, a gaming system, video games, videos and his car.

Upon investigation, detectives said Young’s timeline did not add up, in the report. They questioned why the attacker chose to attack the victim and not him, why he didn’t alert the victim of the impending attack and why he didn’t call police upon fleeing, according to police reports.

Upon further questioning, reports show Young allegedly told police Winters and Wilson had been planning to rob the victim “forever,” and that he was “to be the scapegoat.” Young allegedly said they used Facebook Messenger to communicate, and that he was involved because he “just wanted to pay for rent,” the police report stated.

Young allegedly unlocked the door to allow Wilson and Winters to enter the dwelling while Young played cards with the victim. Young reportedly told police he was the driver of the stolen car, and that the plan was for Young to get hit in the face so that it looked like the victim was not the only one that got hurt, according to reports.

Police obtained access to the Facebook messages, which show that Young and Wilson planned out the robber in advance. Young reportedly said he had insider information and that they should go forward with the robbery.

One of the messages Young sent said, “We going inside. I’ll leave the door unlocked.” A witness said Young allegedly talked about killing the victim to avoid prosecution, the police reports say.

Police reports show all three suspects entered the dwelling a few weeks before the robbery took place.

Police say Winters has an active warrant for his arrest related to a parole violation from a homicide conviction. Wilson’s mother told police he was not in Huntington on July 14 and that she thought he might be in Gary, Ind. At a relatives.

Bond is set at $75,000 for Winters and Wilson and Young’s bail is set at $50,000 with a 10 percent cash modifier.