Police nab fifth robbery suspect

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The only suspect who allegedly fled the scene of an attempted drug-related robbery and shooting in Snellville last week was apprehended in an unlikely place Tuesday -- at the courthouse.

With Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies staking out his Loganville home, another deputy waited to see if Cortez McClain, 20, would show up for his scheduled arraignment hearing.

He did, and was taken into custody on charges of armed robbery and three counts of false imprisonment, sheriff's office spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said.

The charges stemmed from an incident last Wednesday in which McClain and four others allegedly attempted to rob the Spring Mesa Drive home of purported drug dealers.

Gunshots were exchanged as McClain and his crew attempted to flee the scene in their rusted Oldsmobile. The driver and front-seat passenger were shot as they attempted to escape, causing the car to veer into a ditch as police arrived on the scene.

The other passengers in the car now face similar charges after being arrested Thursday.

Devonte Bowles, 17, of Lawrenceville was the passenger shot in the head and in critical condition last week. No update was available Tuesday night.

Two suspects from the Spring Mesa Drive residence were also charged: 21-year-old Erick Moncrieffe with two counts of aggravated assault and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and 19-year-old Travys Davy with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gwinnett police said at last Wednesday's scene that McClain wasn't considered a danger to the community. His arraignment Tuesday was for simple battery charges stemming from a February incident, and jail records show another battery charge among his four arrests in the last 15 months.

"It was felt that Cortez posed no immediate threat as he was believed to be unarmed at the time he took flight from the officer," police spokesman Cpl. Brian Kelly said Tuesday, "and posed no specific or immediate threat due to the number of police officers in the vicinity."