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Two men indicted in Baylor carjacking cases

Jan. 21, 2004

By Lindsey Gomez, reporter

Police indicted two men Thursday for the November and December Baylor-area carjackings and robberies, according to Officer Steven Anderson of the Waco Police Department.

Avery Smith, 18, and Charles Johnson Jr. III, 19, were charged with aggravated robbery, robbery and burglary of habitation for the incidents. Johnson was also charged with theft.

Neither are Baylor students.

'Just because you might have come from a safe neighborhood, don't take anything for granted,' former Baylor student Devin Parrish said. 'No matter what, don't just open the door.'

When Parrish answered his apartment door at about 10 p.m., Nov. 15, Smith and Johnson allegedly forced their way in, and one of them put a pistol to Parrish's head.

Some of Parrish's personal belongings were stolen, along with his '98 Pontiac Trans-Am.

Parrish said police told him that after Smith and Johnson robbed him, his attackers were robbed later that same night. Parrish's vehicle was found the next day on the 1000 block of Preston Street.

Jim Doak, chief of the Baylor Department of Public Safety, said his department's major concern is student safety.

'These incidents were extremely unusual,' Doak said. '[But] people should always be aware of their surroundings and be mindful of unusual activities.'

At about 7 p.m. on Dec. 6, a student returned to his vehicle after using the ATM machine in front of Rother's Bookstore.

One of the suspects supposedly opened the driver's door and demanded the student get out and give him the money and the keys to his 2000 Jeep Cherokee. As the suspect began to drive away, his accomplice jumped into the passenger side of the vehicle, according to Anderson.

On Dec. 9, the stolen vehicle was recovered at the 800 block of Carver Street.

Another carjacking occurred at approximately 10 p.m., Dec. 10, on the 800 block of Speight Avenue.

In this case, one of the subjects opened the door to the victim's 2003 Chevy Tahoe, demanded his vehicle and pulled the victim out of the SUV, Anderson said.

Later that night the victim's vehicle was found wrecked near Bosqueville.

At approximately 10 p.m., Dec. 11, two students had returned to their apartment when Smith and Johnson allegedly kicked in their back door and demanded the victims' keys, said Anderson. Then, the suspects left with the vehicles.

One of the victims' vehicles, a 2003 Jeep Cherokee, was also found wrecked at the intersection of 18th and Providence Drive. The other vehicle, a '94 Eagle Talon, was recovered Dec. 14 at the 100 block of Hood Street.

Parrish said he was one of the victims called in to identify the suspects in a line-up about a week ago.

He said police kept in touch with him during the investigation, and he was glad they made a formal arrest.

Johnson's bail is set for $65,000 and Smith's bail is set for $56,000, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.