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Third arrest made in alleged Austin Springs apartment robbery

March 11th, 2014 8:03 pm by Max Hrenda

Third arrest made in alleged Austin Springs apartment robbery

Matthew Norris

Although Johnson City police have arrested a man they suspect was involved in an apartment robbery, they did not say whether he was facing charges for that particular incident.

On Tuesday, police arrested Matthew D. Norris, 19, 622 E. Maple St., on theft charges after they said he tried to steal a car to flee the scene of the alleged robbery after he was shot.

The alleged robbery occurred on March 4, and escalated to the point where the suspected robbers were shot at by one of the alleged victims. To date, two men — Brian O’Neill Beco, 31, and Joshua A. Stevens, 19 — have also been arrested in connection with the incident.

On the evening of March 4, police responded to an apartment complex at 293 S. Austin Springs Road in regard to a robbery and a shooting. After they arrived, two residents — Benjamin Tyson, 21, and Stevens — told police two armed men entered their apartment, restrained them, and robbed them. After the men left, police said, Stevens broke free of his bonds, retrieved a gun, went to the second-floor balcony and fired on the men as they were getting into their car. Police said one of Stevens’ shots connected with the vehicle’s passenger in the side.

According to JCPD Capt. Debbie Botelho, police believe that passenger was Norris.

“He was a victim/suspect,” Botelho said. “He was involved in the shooting.”

In addition to the alleged robbery, however, Norris received charges for an incident suspected to have taken place shortly afterward. According to a JCPD incident report, Austin Springs Terrace resident Jayla Elliott, 21, was sitting in her apartment’s living room when she heard her car start outside. The report said Elliott — who later told police she always leaves her car unlocked and keys in the ignition — said she went outside and saw someone drive her car into another car in an attempt to leave the parking lot. Elliott then told police she chased after the car and began screaming until the car stopped.

The report said Elliott then forced the man, who police said was Norris, into the passenger’s seat and drove her car back to her apartment. Police said Elliott then forced Norris into her apartment and made him sit down. The report said Norris told Elliott not to call police, and that he had been shot. Police said Elliott kept Norris inside her apartment for about an hour before calling them.

Norris was taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment, where he remained until he was discharged on Tuesday. While Norris was under hospital care, police arrested Beco, who they suspect was one of the robbers, and charged him with aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and theft over $1,000.

After police said they found more than 750 Xanax pills in Stevens’ car, they arrested him on charges of possession of schedule IV narcotics with intent to distribute, reckless endangerment, violation of light law, possession of drug paraphernalia, and attempted second-degree murder.

The incident report also said police found a gun, a black glove, and a black bandana in a creek near the apartments, but did not give any indication as to who owned them.

A JCPD press release said Norris was arrested after his release from the hospital and charged with theft over $10,000, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a revoked license. He was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, where he was being held on a $12,500 bond.

Additionally, WCDC personnel said Norris was being held on charges of theft over $1,000, aggravated burglary, and “armed, dangerous felonies.” He was being held in lieu of $102,000 bond. Police neither confirmed nor denied that those charges had been filed in connection with the alleged apartment robbery.

Norris will appear in Sessions Court today to face his charges.

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