Three men ordered to stand trial in robbery of medical marijuana clinic in downtown Ann Arbor
Liberty Clinic employee James Chaney was getting ready to close the Main Street medical marijuana dispensary just before 8 p.m. on Sept. 30 when he heard the door open.
He figured it was a patient he was waiting on, Chaney testified today.
"(The men) came in with guns, and told us to get down, lay down, and asked where the money was," Chaney said.
Chaney was one of seven people in the clinic at 206 S. Main St. at the time of the robbery — five employees, a patient and a man contracted to do work on the clinic's website. Chaney recalled being told to lie on the floor and having his hands, legs and mouth bound with duct tape.
He said at least one of the intruders told them, "We don't want to hurt nobody, but we will."
Chaney and other witnesses testified today during the preliminary hearing for three men accused of orchestrating the evening hold-up in the downtown medical marijuana dispensary.
At the conclusion of the hearing, district Judge Julie Creal ordered the suspects — Marcus Bailey, 18, and Terrence Robinson, 34, both of Detroit, and Andre White, 32, of Royal Oak — to stand trial in the case. They face charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and assaulting and obstructing police officers.
In addition to those inside the business, three of the police officers who responded to the robbery testified today. They interrupted the crime in progress and arrested the three men now facing charges.
The men — two armed with guns — stole cash and marijuana and refused to go down without a fight, police said.
Chaney said all three men handled the guns at one point, and all three made demands of the victims. He said he and others in the clinic also were robbed of their personal possessions, such as cell phones, watches and cash.
Chaney said about $800 of his personal cash was stolen, along with about $5,000 of the clinic's money.
He said he didn't recall ever seeing the suspects in the clinic before the robbery, and said their names aren't in the clinic's patient database.
Larry Jones, CEO of Interstar Media, testified he had been contracted to do some work on the clinic's website and was inside of the building when the robbery occurred.
"I was in the front reception area, we were just kind of laughing and joking, getting ready to leave (when the suspects entered the clinc)," he said. "I kind of had the feeling that something wasn't right — it happened very quickly."
Jones said the first suspect to enter the building — identified as Robinson — was holding a gun and said, "You know what the (expletive) is up. Get in the other room."
"(Robinson) was just telling me not to be stupid. 'Don't die over this,'" he said. "I don't even know if I can describe (the feeling). You fear for your life. You just do what they tell you."
Jones recalled seeing White look through cupboards and filing cabinets and described Bailey's behavior throughout the ordeal as "erratic."
Officers arrived after receiving a call of a possible breaking and entering at the clinic. Officers Shane Dennis and Christopher Wooley were the first to arrive.
Dennis said he noticed the door of the building was "shattered or spider webbed," indicating someone had broken in. He said he went up the stairs to the clinic's second-floor entrance and saw one of the robbers bent over in the doorway, possibly trying to "drag something out." Dennis said he then attempted to force his way through the door, but the man apparently was on the other side pushing back.
"(The door) immediately slammed shut because he was trying to hold it shut as I was forcing my way in," Dennis said. Meanwhile, Wooley testified he called for assistance.
After forcing his way into the clinic, Dennis said he saw one of the robbers and noticed a black pistol on the floor at his feet. Knowing Wooley was still outside the clinic, Dennis said he yelled at the suspect, "Get on the ground, don't touch the gun," to alert Wooley there was a gun involved. Dennis said he began to struggle with Robinson to get him to the ground, and Wooley stepped in to help.
"It took both of us to actually, finally, get him down to the ground," Wooley said. "(Robinson) grabbed me behind the calves and was trying to tackle me, so-to-speak."
Dennis said some of the victims had broken free from their duct tape and assisted in holding down the first suspect. He added, "They were shaken up. Hysterical. Some of them were crying."
Attorney Solomon Radner, who is representing Robinson, requested a reduction in his $150,000 bond today, but Creal denied his request.
Robinson and White remain in custody. Bailey is free on bond.
The suspects will be back in Washtenaw County Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 2.