A Douglasville teen will serve 12 years in prison after robbing and holding multiple students at gun point outside New Manchester High School in 2011, according to Douglas County District Attorney David McDade.
Rodney Jamaal Banks, 16, was sentenced Monday by Superior Court Judge David T. Emerson after entering a guilty plea to charges of Robbery and Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery. Following his release from prison, Banks will be required to serve eight years on probation. He is also banished from Douglas County.
“When students can’t even go to school without being fearful of being robbed at gunpoint, then something is just flat-out wrong,” said McDade. “We have to send a message that is unmistakable, that is loud, and clearly heard in this community that says we will not tolerate violent crime and violent criminals, like this one. If you decide to commit a violent crime in this community, you’d better be prepared for our response.”
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley told the court both charges stem from two separate incidents that took place on November 17, 2011. On both occasions, students staying after school were held at gunpoint by Banks, who school administrators said had been expelled from New Manchester weeks earlier. Officers were only called after the second incident, which occurred while two teenagers were walking toward the school from the baseball field.
According to Ackley, both students were confronted in the school parking lot by Banks carrying a black handgun, the same weapon investigators learned was used in an attempted robbery outside the high school minutes earlier. The defendant demanded money from both teenagers. One of students complied by emptying his pockets and book bag. The other student, ignoring the barrel of the gun pointed at his face, and the defendant’s threats of shooting him, fled towards the school for help. Banks was arrested after being identified multiple times as the suspect.