A defendant in a violent home invasion and robbery case has been convicted, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.
Ronnie Amos, 23, was found guilty of three counts of false imprisonment and one count each of home invasion and armed robbery last week, according to the DA’s office.
Amos, Israel Bland and Jameel Hazel went to a home on Cannonball Court in Lawrenceville on May 16, 2016 intending to commit a home invasion and robbery, the DA’s office said. They first saw a neighbor standing outside talking on his phone, pointed guns at him and robbed him, according to the DA’s office. They took the neighbor’s phone, some candy and a lighter.
The group then went to a home where a woman and her teenage daughter were visiting. They knocked on the door, but when the visiting woman refused to answer, they forced their way inside, according to the DA’s office. They demanded money, but the woman said she did not have any or know where anything was because she did not live there. The three men held the woman and hr daughter at gunpoint and repeatedly threatened to shoot them, the DA’s office said.
Another neighbor heard the commotion in the home and came over with a gun. Hazel shot the man in the torso, and the man fired back, the DA’s office said. Amos, Bland and Hazel fled the home, but an exchange of gunfire continued, and Bland was shot in the torso. The men got into a car driven by Hazel’s wife and Bland was dropped off at a hospital, where he was later arrested.
A witness remembered the license plate number on the getaway car and gave the information to police, allowing them to connect the incident to Hazel. Police went to Hazel’s home in Winder and saw Hazel, his wife and Amos leave in a Jeep. A Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy stopped the vehicle and Winder police officers assisted in arresting the trio.
Police found two guns, the cell phone stolen from the neighbor, three jars of “suspected marijuana” and a wallet taken from a home on Cannonball Court in the car, according to the DA’s office. Hazel’s wife cooperated with police, admitting to driving the three men to the home, hearing gunshots and driving them away from the scene.
Hazel, who previously pleaded guilty and received a 15-year prison sentence, testified in Amos’ trial that he, Amos and Bland were going to the home to sell marijuana and decided instead to rob the home. After he was convicted, Amos was sentenced to 40 years, with the first 17 to serve in prison. Bland, the last remaining suspect, was released on bond with 2017 with the condition he would wear an ankle monitor. Bland removed the ankle monitor and fled Georgia, according to the DA’s office. He is currently being held on an unrelated robbery charge in New York.