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Bond hearing set for Henry carjacking suspect

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

The case against one of three suspects apprehended in a Locust Grove carjacking was bound over to Henry County Superior Court Friday, as authorities continued the search for two others who were still at large.

A bond hearing will be held Wednesday for Xavier Simmons, 19, of Decatur, who is charged with hijacking a motor vehicle and is being held without bond in the Henry County Jail. Two 16-year-olds, whose names are not being released, have also been apprehended and charged in the case. Two remaining suspects had not been located.

Henry County Police have reportedly found a vehicle allegedly used in the carjacking earlier this week. Authorities said the owner of the vehicle, Simmons' mother, had been told her car was stolen.

Henry County Police believe Simmons and the four other suspects went to a home in Locust Grove Monday, in response to an advertisement on Craigslist.com for a 1984 Pontiac Trans Am. Police Capt. Jason Bolton said one of the juveniles sprayed the homeowner with pepper spray and knocked him to the ground, then left with the other juvenile in the Trans Am.

Bolton said Simmons and the two unidentified individuals then left the scene in a Chevrolet Lumina.

"My understanding with that situation is that Simmons told his mother that her car had been stolen, and that they had filed a report in DeKalb County about the vehicle," said Bolton.

The captain said Thursday the juvenile who was driving the stolen Trans Am lost control of the vehicle after the carjacking, and wrecked along Ga. Highway 42. Henry Police located and arrested both juveniles Monday with assistance from McDonough Police and Locust Grove Police.

The juveniles are now in the custody of the Regional Youth Detention Center in Griffin.

Simmons was apprehended Thursday by detectives investigating the case. Bolton said Simmons provided details when he was questioned, regarding the whereabouts of his mother's Lumina.

"Based on information that we learned from him, we went out to a location in DeKalb and recovered the vehicle," said Bolton. "It had not been discovered ... yet, but we contacted DeKalb County and made them aware of the situation so that they wouldn't think they had a stolen-vehicle case on their hands."

Bolton said Simmons and the juveniles who are in custody "have not been helpful" in assisting police in identifying the two remaining suspects.

Simmons was taken to the Henry County Jail, and appeared in Magistrate Court Friday. A woman who identified herself as his mother, but did not give her name, was in court but did not comment on charge against Simmons.

Simmons waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and the charge against him was bound over to Superior Court.

Police are continuing to seek the public's help in apprehending the two remaining suspects in the case. According to Bolton, the suspects, both black males, may reside in DeKalb County.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Police Detective John Thacker at (770) 288-8304, or call Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS (8477). Those providing information to police could be eligible to receive a reward through Crime Stoppers, Bolton added.