Teen gets 15 years in robbery

CONYERS - One of two former Salem High School students charged with armed robbery during a home invasion has been sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and another 10 years on probation.

Ryan Alexander Mays was sentenced Tuesday after a bench trial before Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin concluded on March 28.

Mays, 18, was charged with three counts of burglary, two counts of armed robbery and possession of a firearm

in the commission of a crime. He was sentenced concurrently on each of the burglary and armed robbery counts to serve 15 years in prison and five years on probation. He received a consecutive sentence of five years on probation for the possession of firearm charge.

Mays was further ordered to pay a total of $9,600 in restitution.

Mays and his co-defendant, Christopher Peeples, 18, were accused of committing a series of burglaries and home invasions in April 2007, when both were students attending Salem.

The first burglary was reported on Hampton Trail. Another burglary occurred April 20, 2007, at a home on Haverhill Court. Investigators found a bag at the scene that apparently had been left by the suspects, including a Salem hall pass bearing Peeples' name.

Six days later, five people reportedly forced their way into an apartment at Salem Woods and accosted two residents there. The suspects allegedly brandished firearms, threatened the lives of the victims and stole several items from the home.

Investigators were later led to Mays' home on Chester Circle, where they found what Assistant District Attorney Dabney Kentner called a "treasure trove of stolen property." A number of items from the crime were also found inside Peeples' car at his residence on Lancaster Drive.

During the trial at the end of March, Peeples testified against Mays, saying he was involved in the Haverhill Court burglary and the Salem Woods home invasion. Peeples testified that Mays held a shotgun on the two victims while the other suspects ransacked the home.

Mays' attorney, Garland Moore, countered that the only evidence against

his client was circumstantial.

The judge found Mays guilty and sentenced him on Tuesday. Peeples' trial is scheduled to begin in a few weeks.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.