DeKalb man convicted in violent Gwinnett home invasion, robbery

A Lithonia man has been convicted in a violent 2017 home invasion, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.

Michael Dashun Bernard was charged with home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony. A jury returned guilty verdicts on all four charges on June 20 after a two-day trial. 

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Bernard was one of two masked men who robbed a Norcross man at his apartment on June 9, 2017, the DA’s office said. The men knocked on the victim’s door, and the victim opened, thinking it was a taxi driver that he was waiting on. The men forced their way  into the apartment, and one hit the victim over the head with a gun, the DA’s office said.

The men made off with the victim’s Glock 26, cash, wallet and his cell phone, prosecutors said. The victim suspected that at least one of the robbers was a coworker of his who knew about the gun and a stash of cash.

The same day, the victim’s credit cards were used at multiple stores in Lithonia by Nicholas Thomas, the DA’s office said. Norcross police arrested Thomas, who told police that Bernard had given him the cards. Thomas also said that Bernard told him he got the cards from the victim’s coworker. 

Bernard and Chinelo Davis were arrested on June 12, 2017. Davis worked with the victim at a window treatment company, the DA’s office said. Davis told police that he told Bernard and another man about the gun, and instructed them not to kill the victim. The second man in the home invasion has not yet been identified.

Bernard was sentenced to 20 years, with 15 to serve in prison. Thomas and Davis are both charged with home invasion, armed robbery and aggravated assault under Georgia’s party to a crime statute, which allows people who allegedly served as an accessory to the crime to be charged with the commission of the crime. Thomas’ and Davis’ cases are still pending.

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Investigators say the man has been arrested more than a dozen times.

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