WATER VALLEY – A man charged with armed robbery in the city has also been charged with a similar crime in the county.
Gary Caldwell, 24, allegedly entered the home of Gerald Harmon on County Road 101 and demanded money at gunpoint around 5 a.m. Sunday, August 15, according to Sheriff Lance Humphreys.
Two weeks later on Sunday, Aug. 30, Columbus Buford, 73, of 515 Calhoun Street, was robbed at gunpoint around 2 a.m., according to Capt. Roger Thomas of the WVPD. “A masked male entered the home and demanded money,” Thomas said.
There was a fight during which Buford was injured. The suspect then took money and fled the scene, Thomas continued.
In a joint effort on Monday, Aug. 31, Police and the Sheriff’s Department officers conducted a search for Caldwell, who was located at 2226 CR 121 with his girlfriend Cecelia Cook. Both were arrested, Thomas said.
“When we arrived at the house he actually tried to escape through a window,” Humphreys added. Chief Deputy Jerry Ferguson met him at the window, according to Humphreys.
Caldwell was initially booked for the city charges of armed robbery and burglary of a dwelling, but deputies were also able to charge him with armed robbery and breaking and entering for his alleged role in the August 15 incident.
“We were able to gather physical evidence that substantiated the charges,” the sheriff reported.
“If convicted, his sentences can be doubled because of the age of the victim,” Humphreys explained. Caldwell could face life in prison if convicted of the armed robbery charge and a maximum 25 years for breaking and entering.
Cecelia Cook, 18, was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact.
Judge Trent Howell arraigned Caldwell and Cook in Water Valley City Court. Bond for Gary Caldwell was set at $150,000.00 and bond for Cecelia Cook set at $125,000.00.
Capt. Thomas thanked the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the capture and arrest of the suspects.
He also commended WVPD Officers Nathan Noe, who was first to arrive at the residence, and Lan Smith and Jamie Caldwell, who joined the investigation.