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Four arrested after armed robbery in Iowa City

Vanessa Miller, CR Gazette –

Police have released the names of the teenagers accused in a Sunday night armed robbery in Iowa City during which a 17-year-old allegedly pointed a gun at the back of one of the victim’s heads.

Brandon Romero Johnson, 17, of Iowa City, faces five felony charges, including two charges of first-degree robbery punishable by up to 25 years in prison each, after police said he entered a home at 409 South Dodge St. #1 at 10:41 p.m. Sunday and demanded the victims’ laptops at gunpoint.

Brandon Omar Tenywa Payne, 17, of Iowa City, faces two charges, including felony theft, after police said he went armed into the unit and assisted in the burglary.

Shakila Ann Holder, 18, of Iowa City, faces charges of second degree theft and accessory to a felony after police said she drove the getaway car and tried to conceal evidence from investigators.

And Ki’el Dante Washington, 19, of Iowa City, faces a charge of interference with official acts after police said he jumped out of the suspect vehicle and led officers on a short foot chase. He later told investigators that he only ran because he had warrants out for his arrest.

According to Iowa City police reports, three teenage males entered the Dodge Street home just after 10:40 p.m., and Johnson is accused of pointing a handgun at the back of one of the victim’s heads while demanding he put two laptops into a backpack.

Johnson also is accused of pointing the handgun at the owners of the laptops, according to the complaints. All three suspects fled the scene with the laptops, according to police.

One victim told police that Johnson “smiled down the sights of the gun at the victims” before he left, according to the complaints.

Detectives eventually caught the suspects in a vehicle that was being driven by a woman, later identified as Holder.

She is accused of driving the suspects from the scene of the crime, knowing a crime was just committed, according to a criminal complaint. Holder also is accused of letting the suspects hide stolen items in her apartment, lying to officers in an attempt to conceal the crime, and driving the suspects to another location to hide the gun, police reported.

Johnson told police he had a handgun but threw it in the gutter, according to a criminal complaint. Police officer searches turned up the computers, but the gun has not yet been recovered, according to a news release.

Johnson is accused of two counts of first-degree robbery, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, assault while participating in a felony and going armed with intent.

Payne and Holder are accused of second-degree theft and accessory to a felony.

Washington faces just the one charge at this time, but police reported that additional charges in the case are possible.

All of the suspects believed to have been involved in the burglary are in custody, and no one was injured in the incident, according to police.

Johnson is being held in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of an $80,000 bond. Holder is being held on a $7,500 bond, and Washington is being held on a $7,500 bond.

Payne has been released.

Johnson, according to online court records, was arrested on suspicion of theft charges in September 2009, when he was 14, and in 2010, when he was still 14.

Payne, according to court records, also was arrested on the same date in September 2009 on suspicion of criminal mischief and theft.

Holder has a limited criminal history in Iowa, according to court records. Washington has a somewhat lengthy criminal history in Iowa, including several juveniles cases and open cases.

He was arrested in April on suspicion of third-degree burglary, a felony, and he’s scheduled for trial in that case on Nov. 20. He also was arrested in August and in September on suspicion of third-degree theft. Both of those cases remain open.

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