By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - The trial of a 24-year-old Killeen man began Monday with testimony from the 87-year-old man a group of burglars tied to his bed while they ransacked his house.
Rasheen Jamal Robinson is charged with aggravated robbery. If convicted, Robinson could face life in prison.
Robinson is accused of being one of five people charged in connection with a Sept. 17, 2010, home burglary in the 1700 block of Wood Avenue in Killeen.
After a jury of eight men and four women was selected, the trial began. Prosecutor Mike Waldman called the home burglary "disgusting." At least four men broke into the home of an elderly man about 2:30 a.m. Sept. 17 by forcing their way into the backyard.
The alleged victim told the court Monday it sounded as if the air conditioner was making noises. About 10 minutes later, four masked men barged into his bedroom.
As they threatened the man with knives, they demanded he tell them where his wallet was located.
"Those four men, they said don't look at us, turn around, lay in your bed," the man told the court. The Killeen Daily Herald does not name victims.
The burglars began searching the man's belongings. They stole his deceased wife's wedding ring, his military medals, about $600 in cash and the man's credit cards.
They forced the man out of his bedroom and into a guestroom. They bound him to the bed with his own neckties, forcing him to lay face down.
The burglars then left the television on, presumably so the man would believe they were still in the house.
After about 30 minutes, the man was able to free himself and call 911.
The burglars were unable to carry all of their loot. Police found a trail of items dropped as the robbers fled the home, including beer stolen from the man's refrigerator.
"They cleaned me out," the man testified.
The man was unable to identify any of the burglars. He testified Monday that they all had covered their faces with bandanas.
In his opening statement, Waldman indicated there might not be any crime scene evidence directly linking Robinson to the crime. Police swept the home thoroughly for fingerprints, but found no usable prints.
What led police to arrest the group of men was surveillance footage taken from a Walmart in Belton about three hours after the crime. The victim's debit card was used to withdraw cash and buy merchandise.
The four or five men in the footage were later identified as the suspects, one of them being Robinson.
He denied any involvement with the crime, but he changed his story several times, Waldman told the court.
First, Robinson said he was not at the Walmart, then said he was. He then said he was not involved in the burglary, but later said he was in the house when it happened, Waldman said.
Also charged in the crime are Kenneth Reed, Jason Colson and Greg Brown. A juvenile was also involved, according to an arrest affidavit.
Testimony will continue today in Judge Martha Trudo's 264th District Court.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.