Rodney Walters, a suspect in Sunday's murder at Cheers Package Store, walks into the courtroom Monday for a bond hearing. District Judge Bob Armstrong chose not to set a bond for Walters or the second suspect, Maurice Pope. (Josh Bergeron | Times Journal)
Rodney Walters (right), a suspect in Sunday's murder at Cheers Package Store, walks into the courtroom Monday for a bond hearing. District Judge Bob Armstrong chose not to set a bond for Walters or the second suspect, Maurice Pope. (Josh Bergeron | Times Journal)

Two suspects charged with capital murder

Published 6:56pm Monday, January 13, 2014

A 62-year-old Selma man was robbed, shot in the back and killed over the weekend for the contents of his wallet; a total of $43.

Selma resident Orlando Robinson was murdered Saturday night in front of the Cheers Package Store on Broad Street. The two suspects charged in his killing were arrested Sunday and made their first court appearance Monday.

Pope
Pope

Rodney F. Walters Jr., 22, 1415 Albert St., and Maurice Pope, 21, 1501 Church St., were arrested Sunday, charged with capital murder and will remain in jail after district judge Bob Armstrong chose Monday to not set bail for either suspect.

By not setting a bond, Armstrong said he was doing his part in curbing violent crime in the Selma area.

“Everybody in our community is motivated and really concerned about what we can do to stop this madness,” he said during court proceedings. “If someone chooses to act in such a reckless way and take someone’s life and rob someone, for what appears to be no reason, I can set a bond in a way where you can’t get out. When there is someone that is a danger to the community, I’m supposed to consider that when I set a bond or no bond in a capital case.”

Prior to Armstrong’s decision, Selma Police officer Sgt. Kendall Thomas testified about the investigation.

Thomas said Pope and Walters were seen inside of the package store and followed Robinson to his car. The pair approached Robinson and allegedly told him to hand over his wallet, according to Thomas. Immediately after, Thomas said Pope pulled out a pistol and fired one round into Robinson’s back. Walters allegedly took $43 dollars from Robinson and the suspects left the scene.

Robinson was transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead early Sunday.

After leaving the scene, the suspects reportedly burned the jacket worn by Pope during the shooting, disassembled the weapon and hid it at the bottom of a trash can at a residence on the 1500 block of Church Street, according to Thomas’ testimony.

After the bond hearing, both men were appointed attorneys, who said they would look into Pope’s mental history to reduce the potential severity of the sentence.

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