Teen's aggravated robbery case sent to adult court

Becky Campbell • Oct 2, 2019 at 7:33 PM

The difficulty of her decision was apparent on her face, her voice and how she delivered it, but Johnson City Juvenile Court Judge Sharon Green said there just wasn’t enough time to rehabilitate an 18-year-old facing multiple violent charges related to a home invasion robbery.

“There’s not enough time for sufficient treatment,” Green said as she ruled the case against Dupree N. Palomino would go to Washington County Criminal Court. Palomino was 17 when he was arrested with another teenager and two adults for a June 1 incident at an apartment on Carroll Creek Road.

Palomino was charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, evading arrest and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Johnson City police were dispatched to the home invasion call at Deanwood Apartments, 1112 Carroll Creek Road, around 3:40 a.m. June 1 after a report of a woman being threatened by someone with a gun. When officers arrived, they saw three black males dressed in dark clothing leaving the apartment. When officers ordered the three to stop, they took off running through some nearby woods.

The victims, Brandon Woodson and Belle Bright, told police the men had kicked in the apartment door and threatened them with a gun, then stole around $2,200. A K9 officer and his handler tracked a trail to a backpack at 4205 Ranch Road. The dog then continued to search and led his handler to an unsecured basement door of a residence on LaCasa Drive. One juvenile was found hiding in the basement and officers took him into custody.

Woodson and Bright testified Wednesday they were upstairs and a friend and the friend’s infant were downstairs in the apartment when the boyfriend saw a Mercury Mountaineer driving around the apartment area. There was a knock at the front door, but they didn’t answer it. A few minutes later, the back door was kicked in and three men went upstairs.

Woodson said Palomino had a handgun and they wrestled over it. The gun went off and the bullet went through the floor — the ceiling of the downstairs — and into the couch where the other woman and her child had been sleeping.

“If there’s anything good from that situation, it’s that no one was killed,” Green said. She ruled the “proof was clear there was probable cause” Palomino committed the crimes and due to his age, there was nothing the juvenile court system could offer because once a juvenile turns 19 they are released from state custody.

Palomino, who had been on probation last year for an aggravated assault involving Bright, didn’t finish all his probation requirements, but since he’s been in  juvenile detention he’s stayed out of trouble and earned his high school diploma, according to testimony. Green praised Palomino for his accomplishments.

“I am not saying you are not salvageable,” Green said. “You’ve got a lot of good. It’s just (not enough) time.”

The other teen charged in the case, Marvin Ray McCrea, 17, is set for a transfer hearing Nov. 1. The adults in the case —  Rahliek R. Garcia, 18, 311 Holly St., and Devonne Cole, 19, 800 Swadley Road — have related cases pending in Criminal Court.

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