By BRIAN HAWKINS
A 20-year-old man has been charged with armed robbery and numerous other felony crimes in connection with a Jan. 11 home invasion on Blackjack Road after investigators were able to identify him when someone recognized a composite sketch published in the newspaper.
Lavorius M. Young, 20, of 1483 Blackjack Road, was arrested early Thursday morning at the home he shares with his grandmother. He was charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, felony taking of a motor vehicle, burglary of an occupied dwelling, kidnapping, sexual battery and cocaine possession in the Jan. 11 incident.
On Thursday, Justice Court Judge Jim Mills set Young’s total bond at $70,000 on all charges, but he was ordered held without bond by a Circuit Court judge on Friday when he was arraigned on two Grand Jury indictments for selling cocaine.
Young is one of multiple suspects in the Jan. 11 incident.
After the Sheriff’s Department released a composite sketch of one of the suspects on Tuesday and it was printed in the newspaper on Wednesday, someone who believed the sketch of the man’s face resembled “someone with the last name of Young” contacted the female victim, who immediately called Sheriff’s Department detectives, said Sheriff Dolph Bryan late Friday afternoon.
One of the detectives knew of Young, and put a photograph of him in a lineup for the victim to examine, Bryan said. The victim positively identified positively identified Young in the photo lineup, Bryan said.
Following the incident, the female victim told deputies that she had been robbed by three black males after responding to a knock at the door of her home.
Deputy Brett Watson, one of the Sheriff’s Department’s detectives, said Friday that the search is continuing for the two other men who were involved in the home invasion with Young, as well as a fourth man they believe was driving the car that dropped Young and the suspects at the victim’s home.
The suspects, brandishing what deputies described as large-caliber handguns, forced the victim to give them cash before tying her up and attempting to leave the scene in her red Dodge pickup, according to Sheriff’s Department reports.
The kidnapping charge against Young — which will be filed against the other suspects — resulted from the victim being tied up, and the sexual battery charge stems from the fact that the three suspects “touched her in a sexual manner” while she was tied up, Bryan said. The victim was not raped, he said.
As they were leaving, the suspects fired multiple gunshots at the victim’s brother as he was arriving home. The victim’s pickup was recovered a short time later in the Artesia Road area, reports state.
The victim’s brother was not hit by the gunshots, nor was the brother’s girlfriend, who was with him when the suspects opened fire, resulting in the two aggravated assault charges, Bryan said.
The investigation continues, and more arrests are expected soon, Bryan said Friday.
“These types of incidents scare people,” Bryan said. “We’ve had a lot of people trying to help us with this case and still trying to help us.”
The descriptions of two of the remaining home invasion suspects are as follows:
• A black male 6 feet tall, weighing 150 pounds with a slim build and wearing a black shirt, jeans and tennis shoes.
• A black male 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing between 150 and 160 pounds with a stocky build.
He also had a dark complexion and was seen wearing light-colored coveralls with an attached hood and boots.
Sheriff’s deputies are asking anyone who may have information about the incident or the suspects to contact the department at 323-2421, the Sheriff’s Department Investigations Unit at 324-8484, the Starkville Police Department at 323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.
All Crime Stoppers tips are confidential and could result in a reward of up to $1,000 for the caller if the tip results in an arrest in this case or any felony crime.