20-year-old woman, teen accused of armed robbery
URBANA — An Urbana woman and a teen who allegedly held up three men in Urbana on Sunday have both been criminally charged in Champaign County Circuit Court.
Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said Wylesha K. Ayres, 20, who listed an address in the 400 block of South Dodson Drive, was charged Tuesday with armed robbery. The 14-year-old boy with her was charged in juvenile court Monday with violating the probation he was on in a 2011 burglary case and ordered held in custody until a hearing June 12.
Morgan said Ayres and the boy allegedly arranged, through another person, to sell drugs to a man in the 900 block of South Lierman Avenue in Urbana.
"However, it was a ruse to get him there with cash so they could rob him," Morgan said.
When the man and two companions arrived about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, the teen got into the back seat of the car and held a gun on them while Ayres allegedly grabbed the driver in a choke hold from outside the car. The men handed over about $350 and the pair took off.
Through investigation, Morgan said, police tracked Ayres and the teen to an apartment in the 900 block of South Lierman Avenue. They later obtained a search warrant and found the gun believed used in the holdup, clothing and other items that they collected as evidence.
Ayres and the youth were arrested Sunday.
Morgan said the victims denied that they had gone to Lierman to buy drugs and that Ayres and the teen denied involvement in a robbery. But other witnesses suggested that there was to be a drug transaction and that Ayres and the teen robbed the would-be customers of their cash, Morgan said.
Ayres was convicted of residential burglary in May 2011 and sentenced to six years in prison but given boot camp. She has a pending misdemeanor case alleging she committed criminal damage to property and possession of cannabis in Urbana on May 21.
On Tuesday, Judge Richard Klaus set Ayres' bond at $100,000 and told her to be back in court on June 19 with an attorney. If convicted, Ayres faces a mandatory prison sentence of between 21 and 45 years. She's currently on parole for residential burglary.