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An 18-year-old Newport News man accused of robbing a home in James City County and beating an occupant had six felony charges certified Friday after a preliminary hearing.
Giovaunie Banton is facing two counts of grand larceny, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, one count of felonious assault and one count of breaking and entering, for allegedly invading the home of a 58-year-old James City County woman in November, punching her in the jaw and leaving with her guns.
The alleged robbery occurred in the 100 block of King William Drive off Olde Towne Road.
Banton was one of three adults facing charges for allegedly participating in the robbery. Newport News residents Cameron Whitlock, 18, waived a preliminary hearing Friday, and is facing one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, one count of breaking and entering, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of grand larceny, which are all felonies.
Charges against Jaleshia Whitlock, 18, were dropped for lack of evidence Friday, but Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh DeFord said they could be reintroduced at a later date.
A 15-year-old boy is also facing charges stemming from the alleged robbery.
The juvenile testified Banton and three other individuals confronted him Nov. 8, 2014 regarding a drug dealing debt. The juvenile said he told the group he did not have the money, but could get them weapons to cover the debt, and directed them to the James City County home where he said a school friend lived.
The juvenile said he did not expect anyone to be home when the group arrived around 12:30 p.m., but was met at the door by a 16-year-old boy who lived there. Four individuals entered the home, and three males began searching for weapons and valuables. A fifth individual waited in the car outside.
The 16-year-old occupant’s stepmother confronted two of the males in a bedroom and engaged in a struggle. Banton allegedly put the woman in a headlock and began punching her repeatedly, causing a broken jaw and bruised ribs. The woman fought back, biting Banton on the chest, but was knocked down and kicked and beaten.
The four individuals eventually left the home with two guns, which the juvenile identified as a 12-gauge shotgun and a rifle.
The juvenile was detained in November and gave police the names of four other suspects. Jaleshia Whitlock was arrested by James City County Police in April in connection to the robbery.
The stolen firearms were recovered at Jaleshia Whitlock’s home Dec. 27, 2014, when police were called for a domestic situation. Cameron Whitlock was arrested at that time in connection with that incident.
Cameron Whitlock and Banton were arrested April 7 in connection to the robbery.