Arrest made in apartment robbery

By: By Chris Berendt -

A Clinton man is facing charges of robbery and kidnapping after he and another suspect allegedly held a group of people at gunpoint inside a Clinton apartment early Saturday morning, according to Clinton police officials.

Terrance Lashaun Simmons, 25, of 235 Clive Jacobs Road, Clinton, has been charged with two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, first degree kidnapping, first degree burglary and larceny of a firearm, as well as possession of firearm by a felon. Simmons was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $350,000 secured bond.

According to Clinton Police Chief Donald Edwards, Simmons was identified as one of the suspects in the Saturday incident following an investigation. The charges stem from a robbery at Harpers Glen, the apartment complex located off Overland Road, near Walmart. Simmons was arrested Tuesday at a residence on Eastover Terrace.

He was jailed and will have a first appearance in court on Nov. 3.

“The investigation is ongoing as we look at another person of interest,” Edwards said.

The police chief said a report of the robbery was made to police at 6:07 a.m. Saturday. A male victim told officers that he went outside to throw out some trash when he was approached first by a male asking for a cigarette, then by a second male holding a rifle. The two suspects confronted the victim, leading him back into his apartment, where his girlfriend and a few other people were staying at the time.

Edwards said there were “four or five” people in the apartment at the time, all of whom were ordered to the ground and told to hand over money, phones and other items. Edwards said that cash, a phone and a gun were reported stolen during the robbery, however the male victim and his girlfriend were the only ones who wished to make a report, and reported items taken.

“(The other victims) were held during the robbery, but did not stay around to talk with us,” said Edwards. “He and his girlfriend were the only ones who reported anything (taken).”

Simmons received the possession of firearm by a felon charge, indicated his status as a felon.

According to court records, Simmons’ probationary status is still listed as “active” following a conviction in November 2016 in Sampson of misdemeanor death by vehicle and driving while license revoked. He was given a suspended sentence and two years of probation in that case.

That fatal accident occurred almost exactly two years ago.

Simmons was involved in a head-on dirt bike collision on Oct. 18, 2015, that killed Ivanhoe native Justin Wright, 28. The wreck happened around 8 p.m. that night on Bland School Road, near Wildcat Road, just south of Harrells. While Wright succumbed to his injuries, Simmons suffered “significant, serious injuries that were not life-threatening,” N.C. Highway Patrol authorities stated at the time.

Simmons was previously convicted in February 2014, also in Sampson, of multiple counts of felony breaking and entering, larceny and assault inflicting serious injury. He received a suspended sentence, just as he did for convictions of larceny in May 2015 and January 2016, also in Sampson, court records show.

As police continue to investigate, anyone with information about the robbery at Harpers Glen is encouraged to contact the Clinton Police Department at 910-592-3105. Information may also be given anonymously through the department’s Tip411 system by texting their tip to 847411, starting each message with tipcpd.

Kidnapping charges also leveled; another sought

By Chris Berendt

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.