According to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds, two men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms after robbing a woman in a hotel room of her tax-refund money.
The investigation found that Markel Owens, 30, of Mississippi was in a romantic relationship with the victim on Jan. 31, 2012, and was with her when she cashed a tax-refund check. Later that evening, the two checked into the Marietta Motel on Cobb Parkway South, and the victim, who had about $2,900 in cash from the refund check in her purse, fell asleep. She awakened awhile later and found Owens repeatedly texting with someone. He then left the room and did not return.
About 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2012, two masked men, one of them armed with a handgun, kicked in the door to her room, held her at gunpoint and demanded her purse, then fled in a vehicle.
Marietta Police detectives obtained cell-phone records of Owens’ phone, and text messages between him and Anthony Markee Weaver, 26, of Powder Springs, revealed a virtual roadmap of the burglary and armed robbery, which was carried out by Weaver and two other still-unidentified accomplices.
“I can’t think of anything more scary than a woman, alone in a hotel room in the middle of the night, having the door kicked in by armed men,” Richele Anderson, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said in a news release. “And this was a long time coming. The case was called for trial a year ago, when Owens was out on bond. He did not show for the trial and wasn’t found until he was arrested during a traffic stop a few months ago in Memphis, Tenn.”
This week, both Weaver and Owens pleaded guilty to armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and firearms-possession charges.
Late Wednesday, Cobb Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell sentenced Weaver to 15 years, with 10 years to serve in custody. He has been held at Cobb Jail since July 2012.Judge Kell sentenced Owens to 35 years, with 25 years to serve in custody.