Miller County prosecutors charge teen with attempted capital murder

LaTerrance Traylor

A Texas teen has been charged with attempted capital murder in connection with a convenience store robbery.

Chavel Terrel Jemison, 17, is accused in the Jan. 9 robbery of the Circle K in Texarkana, Ark., along with co-defendant LaTerrance Traylor, 19.

According to an arrest affidavit, Jemison carried a .380 pistol, Traylor carried a bag and both wore bandanas over their faces when they demanded that a clerk empty the contents of a cash register. After cleaning out one till, the men instructed the clerk to open a second register. When the clerk told them he didn’t have a password to open it, Jemison allegedly pistol whipped him in the back of the head.

While the clerk was on the floor, Traylor allegedly told Jemison to shoot and kill the clerk, “at which time the armed suspect attempted to chamber a round,” the affidavit states.

The clerk told officers he decided to attempt to fight his attackers in a last ditch shot at survival. The clerk reported that he punched the armed man in the face and wrestled the gun from his hands before the two robbers fled the store.

Texarkana, Ark., detectives examined the gun and discovered that the base plate of the pistol’s magazine was missing. The lack of a plate on the magazine made the pressure from the spring inadequate to push a bullet from the clip into the chamber. The base plate was found on the floor of the Circle K in the cash register area where the clerk was struck with the gun. The blow to the clerk’s head probably saved his life, the affidavit alleges.

Investigators recognized the bandana-clad robbers at the Circle K as the same pair who’d entered the 71 Express on State Line Avenue a short time earlier the same day. The clerk on duty at 71 Express was outside when she saw two men, one carrying a gun, enter the store. The clerk told police the men “roamed” around the store before grabbing her wallet from the counter and leaving.

The gun recovered from the Circle K robbery provided a valuable clue. A trace of the serial number showed that the weapon had been purchased in November by a man in Palestine, Texas, which is the same city in which Jemison lives, according to court records. The man who bought the gun told police he sold it to someone on Facebook for $115 who said they sold it to Jemison.

Jemison was charged by prosecutors in Miller County last week in Miller County with attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the Circle K robbery and commercial burglary in connection with the wallet stolen from 71 Express. Court records show that Jemison is being charged as an adult despite his age. He is currently in the Miller County jail. His bail is set at $500,000.

Traylor was arrested earlier this month on a charge of robbery and is being held in the Miller County jail with a $150,000 bail. He has not yet been formally charged by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

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