Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge Suzanne H. Smith rejected a motion to set bond in Bartow Superior Court Monday morning for a Cartersville teen facing a dozen charges stemming from two back-to-back incidents alleged to have occurred last month.
Defendant Jasten Lecean Chapman has been held in pre-trial custody at the Bartow County Jail since Jan. 28. Per Bartow County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) records, his charges include four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of armed robbery and one count of hijacking a motor vehicle.
Chapman is also charged with felony theft by taking and possession of a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies. The defendant is also facing several misdemeanors, including counts of loitering and prowling, criminal trespass and theft by receiving stolen property.
“This stems from a case where a victim said they were in a parking lot and two unknown men came up to him,” said public defender Matthew Hoskins. “One of them had a revolver, placed it to his head and asked him to exit the vehicle.”
Hoskins said the defendant is 18. He told the court the alleged victim claimed one of the suspects was Hispanic and the other African-American.
“I don’t know how Mr. Chapman is involved in the case or how he was identified or anything like that,” Hoskins told the court.
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Alex Oberkofler said the defendant is involved in two cases, noting that neither have been presented to a grand jury yet.
“It looks like on the earlier case he got a number of charges,” he told the court. “We had one victim, I see, listed on this case.”
The other case, he said, involves three additional victims. The prosecution, however, did not delve into the specifics of that incident beyond indicating the defendant is facing three more aggravated assault charges involving a firearm.
Furthermore, Hoskins told the court he was unaware that the defendant even had a second aggravated assault case pending.
“I don’t show that he has any criminal history yet, but given the charges that he has here today, the violent nature and the very seriousness of these charges — and the fact there’s two separate cases going on — I don’t think bond is appropriate at this time,” Oberkofler said. "I imagine that this is a case that would take priority getting to a grand jury.”
Judge Smith ultimately sided with the prosecution and denied the bond request — for the time being.
“If there’s a preliminary hearing and different evidence comes out concerning Mr. Chapman's involvement in the matter, you can certainly bring it back up for a motion for consideration,” Smith told Hoskins.