The man wanted for allegedly robbing a Covington Holiday Inn and Doster’s Store in Newton County was arrested and is being held in Henry County, Ala. on multiple charges, including the beating of a guard in the Alabama jail.
Authorities began their search for an unknown male after several robberies involving the same car, sawed-off shotgun and man with clothing wrapped around his face were reported beginning July 2 with Doster’s Store and July 4 at the Holiday Inn Express.
At the time detectives working the case for the Covington Police Department were unaware that there had been a carjacking in DeKalb County, where a dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu was stolen the same day as the robbery at the hotel.
When authorities released video and stills from the robbery at the hotel, they were inundated with tips from the community, all of them identifying 18-year-old Antonio Marvette Bell as the man seen on the tape. Some of the anonymous callers reportedly said that he lived on Sunflower Lane, located behind Doster’s Store. Witnesses at the store also alleged they had seen him there days before the robbery, acting suspiciously.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials in Abbeville, Ala. reportedly stopped Bell on July 4 for traveling in excess of 100 m.p.h. in a car reported stolen from DeKalb County. When they looked in the backseat, they reportedly found a snub-nosed, sawed-off shotgun. Bell was arrested and charged with felony possession of a short barrel firearm and receiving stolen property. When he was arrested, he was allegedly wearing the same clothing that he had been seen in on the Holiday Inn video.
While in the jail, he was given a mop and a bucket to help clean up a spill in the 14-man cell in which he was being housed. At some point, Bell reportedly used the mop handle to beat a corrections officer, knocking the man unconscious and inflicting injuries for which the guard had to be hospitalized. Several other inmates jumped on Bell and held him down until more officers arrived. According to CPD Detective Daniel Seals, Bell told him that he "didn’t like the way he [the guard] looked at me." He also admitted to grabbing the man’s keys in an attempt to escape.
"This is a violent, violent offender who will do anything to get out," said Seals.
Bell was reportedly interviewed by Alabama authorities, as well as officers from the Conyers Police Department and refused to cooperate or give them any information on the robberies.
When Seals arrived the night after Bell allegedly beat the corrections officer, he reportedly received a full confession from the teenager. During an interview that lasted a little more than an hour, Bell allegedly admitted his guilt in the Holiday Inn robbery, the one at Doster’s Store and a separate case of strong-arm robbery out of Newton County that occurred on March 10. He also reportedly admitted to the DeKalb County carjacking, but allegedly said he had no part in the Conyers robbery, though he reportedly offered information that may prove helpful in solving that case.
"I don’t think he was done," said Seals. "I think he was ramping up his violence."
The victim of the DeKalb County carjacking did not sustain injuries and the jailer in Alabama is expected to fully recover. According to Sheriff William Maddox, Bell will have to face charges first in Alabama, for which he has been denied bond, before he can be returned to answer for charges in Georgia.
In Covington, Bell, who is no stranger to the system according to Seals, is being charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
"It was good luck and good police work that solved this case," said Captain Craig Treadwell. "This was a really bad guy. And all the guys in the unit did a great job."