Columbus man pleads guilty to armed robberies at local Internet cafés
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus man has agreed to plead guilty in a case involving the murder of a husband and wife in a local Internet café.
Desjuan R. Lee Harris, 25, offered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court today to two counts of robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Harris and others were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2019 for crimes related to a string of robberies of Internet gaming businesses, including one robbery at Players Paradise on East Broad Street that resulted in murder on Jan. 20, 2019.
Chris A. King, 25, is charged with three counts of murder (including the murder of a witness), and Dezhan Townsend, 21, and Justice B. Stringer, 25, are each charged with two counts of murder, which is a death-eligible crime.
According to court documents, Townsend, Stringer and King robbed the Internet café at gunpoint and allegedly murdered security guard Joseph Arrington and then his wife, employee Karen Arrington.
Harris was charged as a co-defendant for his role in two robberies at local Internet cafés prior to Jan. 20, 2019.
According to his plea, Harris and Townsend robbed Players Paradise at gunpoint on Dec. 10, 2018 and fled with $30,000 in cash.
On Jan. 7, 2018, Harris and others committed armed robbery at Planet Jackpot on Alum Creek Drive. During that robbery, they stole approximately $2,400 in cash.
Robbery is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence involves a mandatory sentence of at least seven years on each count, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Congress sets the minimum maximum statutory sentence, and sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan and Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the plea offered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin W. Kelley and Elizabeth A. Geraghty are representing the United States in this case.
# # #