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A 20-year-old man suspected of breaking into an apartment in Williamsburg and robbing a man of marijuana at gunpoint has pleaded not guilty to a raft of felonies connected to the incident.
The pleas resulted in the scheduling of two bench trials for Terrance Andretti Martin Jr. Nine of the felonies will be tried in a two-day trial Aug. 17, while a single possession of a firearm by a convicted felony charge will be tried separately Aug. 31.
That one charge was separated so as to not unfairly prejudice the case involving the rest of the charges.
Police believe Martin and Alexander A. Brown conducted the robbery in October at an apartment located on Ernestine Avenue off Ironbound Road in Williamsburg.
In an April preliminary hearing, the man accusing Martin and Brown of robbing him said he came home from school on Oct. 21 and found the pair with his houseguest. The four played video games for a while, and eventually Martin, Brown and the house guest left.
The 18-year-old resident of the apartment said he then walked his mother to her job at McDonald’s on Richmond Road with her boyfriend before returning to the apartment with the boyfriend.
“The next thing we know, somebody came into the house with guns pointed at us,” he said.
Brown and Martin were wearing bandannas and hats and had revolvers, he said. The robbers demanded to know the location of some marijuana in the apartment. Eventually the 18-year-old said he retrieved the marijuana from a bedroom and gave it to Martin.
During the robbery, Martin is alleged to have asked the 18-year-old “do you want to die?” Martin allegedly struck the man in the back of the head and ordered him to crawl through the apartment at gunpoint.
The 18-year-old did not alert police about the incident until January. He said he was afraid family members of the two alleged robbers might retaliate against him.
Martin also faces a capital murder charge in James City County in connection to the shooting death of a 26-year-old man in a separate incident.
Martin pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of violating probation, one felony count of robbery, two felony counts of abduction, three felony counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one felony count of armed burglary.
Brown will enter pleas to the seven felony charges he faces on June 11.