BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A Fort Madison teen involved in an armed robbery at a Fort Madison gas station had bond set at $25,000 at an initial hearing Friday in North Lee County Court.
Daymeon Virgil, 17, of Fort Madison has been charged with 1st-degree robbery, a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, in connection with the Jan. 7th armed robbery of Garner’s Oil in Fort Madison. Because Virgil is still a juvenile, if convicted, the court could impose probation in lieu of a prison sentence. The bond is 10% allowed.
Virgil was being held on $100,000 cash-only bond at the Juvenile Detention Facility in Montrose, according to a Thursday release from the Fort Madison Police Department. He is also facing other weapons-related charges in Des Moines and Lee counties.
District Associate Judge Ty Rogers heard arguments Friday morning with Virgil present via video-conference from the Lee County Jail.
Assistant Lee County Attorney Ross Braden argued that due to the other pending weapons charges and considering the dangerous nature of the armed robbery charge, a $50,000 bond would be appropriate.
Jonathan Stensvaag, the public defender who represented Virgil at the hearing, said Virgil is currently under court supervision and has made all court appearances except for one in Des Moines County because he was confused about the date, but appeared when the matter was cleared up.
“Mr. Virgil has two pending cases – one in Des Moines and one here,” Stensvaag said. “The Des Moines county case was initiated from charges March 25 and the Lee County charge was filed on April 10. He’s been on pre-trial release since then and has showed up every time except for one where he was confused.”
Stensvaag said the alleged offense took place prior to the other cases and asked for Virgil to be released under current judicial supervision or 10% be allowed if bond was set.
“Given his history we believe a $50,000 cash only bond is absolutely appropriate,” Braden told Rogers.
“The alleged offense is a forcible felony and is an armed robbery,” he said. “Since January, it’s my understanding Mr. Virgil has pled guilty to possession of offensive weapons involving a sawed-off shotgun in Des Moines County and I don’t think he’s been sentenced on that yet. The offense in Lee County also involves weapons including trafficking of stolen weapons where he was involved with very young juveniles acquiring these weapons and then selling them to others. He’s also charged with carrying weapons. Additionally we believe his supervision at home is minimal,” Braden said.
Braden also asked that any bond be set after a pretrial report could be issued so the attorneys could argue bond at that point.
Rogers said the court’s concern was for the protection of the community and whether Virgil would make himself available for future court proceedings.
“It is incumbent of the court to consider the nature of the charge and the nature of this is very serious,” Rogers said. “Mr. Virgil, it sounds to me, was released on charges that are no greater than a Class D felony. The current charge is a much more significant offense and carries a potential for a much more significant prison sentence and for that reason the court does have concerns about potential flight risk,” Rogers said before setting the bond at $25,000, 10% allowed. “The court feels this will assure the child’s appearance at future court proceedings,”
After the hearing Braden said he was not happy with the ruling and will probably file for a hearing to review the bond. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 13 at 11 a.m.
“He’s most likely going to post the bond very soon,” Braden said. “He’s already posted bond on two other charges so somehow he keeps coming up with the money.”
Virgil’s sentencing on the Des Moines County charges of unauthorized possession of offensive weapons is set for Dec. 11 in Burlington.