Evaluation ordered for Taco Bell robbery suspect

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A second competency evaluation stands between a man accused of a single-target crime spree and an August jury trial on multiple counts of armed robbery.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Ulysses W. Boykin May 14 ordered another evaluation for Thomas Maurice Davis, 25, a Lincoln Park man charged with robbing the same fast food restaurant three times within five weeks last fall.

Davis was initially arraigned in 25th District Court in December and subjected to a court-ordered competency evaluation to determine whether he understood criminal responsibility related to the charges. Zelenak determined on May 7 that Davis was capable of participating in his own defense, and bound the charges to circuit court.

Prosecutors said Davis first robbed Taco Bell, 2306 Dix-Toledo, on Nov. 4. According to Lincoln Park police reports, Davis entered the restaurant about 7 p.m., pointed a shotgun at several employees while demanding cash, and fired a shot into the ceiling. Witnesses said Davis left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash, and rode a bicycle toward nearby residential streets.

The same store was robbed again on Nov. 28, and on Dec. 10, a man wearing a mask and knit cap implied that he had a weapon but did not fire a round, and again left with cash. The suspect’s physical description matched that of Davis, and prosecutors said that evidence from each of the three robberies was consistent for the same suspect.

After the third robbery police followed a path based on evidence and witness accounts that traced from Taco Bell to Davis’ residence less than a mile away.

A final conference is scheduled for next month before Boykin, and a jury trial may begin in August. Thomas faces three counts of armed robbery, a 20-year felony, and multiple related charges to include felony weapon possession as a repeat offender. Davis had previously been convicted of fleeing and eluding in 2011 and assault in 2006.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)