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Bond set for man accused in robbery scheme

A Clayton County magistrate set bond Friday morning for a Riverdale man arrested last month in an advertising scheme to lure victims to his girlfriend's house to rob them.

Prosecutors said Devon Cooper, 20, his girlfriend and a male friend placed an ad to lure men to the woman's house. One man answered the ad and went to the woman's house in September, said prosecutors. When the man and Cooper's girlfriend entered her bedroom, she alerted Cooper by text. Cooper and his friend entered the room and robbed the man of property and $900 in cash.

Cooper has been held without bond in the Clayton County Jail on charges of armed robbery, false imprisonment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy to commit a crime. Prosecutors said armed robbery should not be taken lightly and asked for a $100,000 bond.

His defense attorney told Clayton Magistrate Betrice Scott that Cooper maintains his innocence and asked for a reasonable bond. Cooper is a student at Ballard College, studying music and audio production, said the defense attorney, and has a job waiting for him as a coach and teacher at a Boys and Girls Club.

Scott set bond at $95,000. As of Friday afternoon, Cooper was still in jail.

In another case, a consideration for bond reduction was delayed a week for an Atlanta man accused of stealing passengers' baggage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Devonte Lightning, 18, faces 18 counts of unlawful removal of baggage and theft by taking. He has been held in the Clayton County Jail since June 30 on $88,000 bond.

Prosecutors told Scott that Lightning made eight separate trips to the baggage claim area in one day, taking at least one bag each time to the public restroom where he went through the contents.

But Lightning's mother, Nikita Lightning, took the stand Friday morning and testified that her son has mental health issues. She told Scott she is a single mother to seven children and is having a hard time getting proper treatment for him.

"He doesn't know he committed a crime," she testified. "When Devonte is home, he goes through our things and takes them to the bathroom. He feels he's on a mission."

Scott agreed to delay consideration of a bond reduction for a week so officials can get more information on programs available to help Lightning.