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Robbery suspect changes mind, will go to trial


Tevin Oglen

Tevin Oglen


Michael Satterfield

Michael Satterfield


Corey Lathan

Corey Lathan


Demonta Gardner

Demonta Gardner


Jeremy Billups

Jeremy Billups


Bobby Bluitt

Bobby Bluitt



Sarah Fowler



The saga of six Columbus teens charged with robbing a woman at gunpoint will continue to the next Circuit Court term in August. 


Tevin Oglen, 18, who was expected to plead guilty last Friday in Lowndes County Circuit Court, has decided to go to trial. His trial date was set for August 7. 


Oglen is one of six Columbus teens accused of robbing Karen Winter at gunpoint in 2011. According to authorities, Oglen along with Demonta Gardner, 18, Bobby Bluitt, 18, Jeremy Billups, 17, Corey Lathan, 17, and Michael Satterfield, 17, forced their way into Winter's apartment at the Sandpiper Apartment Complex on the night of Sept. 29, 2011 and held a gun to her head as they burglarized her home. 


The teens were arrested shortly after leaving the scene. Each teen was charged as a adult with one count of armed robbery and one count burglary of a dwelling. 


Gardner was the first of the six to be tried in May 2012. He was found guilty of the burglary charge and not guilty of the armed robbery charge. He was sentenced to 20 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. 


Lathan went to trial in September 2012. He was found guilty for burglary of a dwelling. He was sentenced to serve 15 years, with five suspended. 


Billups pleaded guilty to one count burglary of a dwelling in May. He was sentenced to 25 years with MDOC. 


During Gardner and Lathan's trials, Winter spoke with hesitation and rarely looked at the men accused of robbing her. 


With Oglen's trial scheduled for next term, Winter said she is apprehensive about testifying for the third time. 


"I'm anxious," she said. "It's always apprehensive." 


Winter said it has taken her some time to put the ordeal behind her. 


"I have pretty much moved on," she said. "Just within the last few months I've gotten to where I will go out after dark. I didn't even open my curtains for a year-and-a -half." 


While Winter said she felt like justice was served with Gardner's and Lathan's conviction, she is still anxious about the outcome of the other three trials. 


"It's not necessarily peace, just kind of between relief and peace," she said. "I don't think it will ever be peaceful. On the first three, justice was served on them. We just have to wait and see what happens with the others." 


Gardner, Lathan, Oglen and Billups are currently in the custody of the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. 


Bluitt and Satterfield are out on bond and awaiting trial. Bluitt's court date is set for Aug. 21. Satterfield's trial is set for Aug. 19.


Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.



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