A Covington man who is a suspect in 2009 robberies of the Covington Holiday Inn Express and Doster’s Store in Newton County has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for attacking a guard in an Alabama jail with a mop.
Antonio Marvette Bell, 19, assaulted a guard in Abbeville, Ala.
Alabama officers stopped Bell on July 4, 2009, for traveling in excess of 100 mph in a car reported stolen from DeKalb County. They found a snub-nosed, sawed-off shotgun in the back seat and 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 a video of the Covington motel robbery.
The car was allegedly used in the Newton County thefts, which were committed by a man with clothing wrapped around his face and wielding a sawed-off shotgun. Doster’s was robbed July 2 and the Holiday Inn on July 4, 2009.
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 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 Covington Police Department 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.
Bell still faces charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in Newton County. He will return to face those charges after finishing his sentence in Alabama.
Bell pleaded guilty to five felony charges in a Henry County, Ala., courtroom, including first-degree receiving stolen property, first-degree escape, second-degree escape, second-degree assault and promoting prison contraband. He received a 20-year prison sentence last week as part of the plea agreement for both the first-degree escape and first-degree receiving stolen property charges (which stemmed from a stolen vehicle Bell reportedly took from an Atlanta woman), as well as the guard’s attack and Bell’s attempt to escape at that time.
Bell also received a 10-year prison sentence for a charge of promoting prison contraband, which included an incident where a sharpened toothbrush was found in his possession in 2009 and a second-degree escape charge from November 2009, when Bell reportedly used a set of homemade handcuff keys to try and escape while in court. Those charges, along with several others, will run concurrently with the 20-year sentence.