A 16-year-old Mayflower student pleaded not guilty Wednesday to robbing two elderly women at gunpoint earlier this year.
Mayflower police were alerted of the incident around 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21 after several reports were made of a suspicious male walking along East Ridge Road.
Deaundre Grice, who is charged as an adult with aggravated residential burglary and two counts of first-degree battery following the January incident, is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Grice, who stood alongside his attorney, Jim Lane, before Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charges.
Court documents state felony charges were filed against Grice following the Jan. 21 incident where Grice allegedly attacked two 69-year-old women.
According to an incident report, one caller flagged police down on the night in question near the Valero gas station on Highway 365 and stated "a young black male wearing all black clothes ... [carrying] a black backpack" stopped her earlier in the night on East Ridge Road and asked where he could find her son.
"She said she was concerned because [her son's] mobile home had been broken into before," the officer wrote in his report after speaking with the woman who witnessed the juvenile suspect in the area. "She stated that as she drove by the subject, he waved, but she felt like he was up to no good so she watched him in the mirror as she drove."
A few minutes after her run-in with the suspect, the woman said she was at a friend's house when she saw the 16 year old running down the street and jumping to the culvert by the driveway. The witness said she watched the suspect put something into the culvert before running over to Paradise Road.
The second call was from two 69-year-old women who said the suspect came into their home and threatened them at gunpoint.
One of the woman said she could see the suspect had his face covered with a bandana but said she decided to open the door when he knocked. Grice then allegedly held up a gun and forced himself into the home, according to statements given by the two women.
After the two elderly women tried to explain they did not have any money to give the teen when he demanded their money, he became angry and struck one of the women with the .45 caliber gun, according to the report. The woman suffered injuries to her left eye and lower left leg.
Authorities tracked the juvenile suspect, who did not show up to school the next day, at his father's home at the Mayflower Apartments. According to the incident report, Grice immediately admitted his alleged guilt when he was met by officers at the front door, stating he knew they were there because of the robbery that took place the night before.
Grice said he attempted to rob the women because he needed $1,000.
"The [suspect] stated approximately one week ago he was approached by two unknown Mexicans who threaten[ed] to kill him and his family if he did not come up with [$1,000] in one week" for stealing approximately three to four ounces of marijuana from them about a month ago in Conway.
Grice is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing regarding the aforementioned case.