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Accused gang member on trial for armed robbery

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- After a mistrial, an Albany man in now on trial for charges stemming from a September 2009 armed robbery.

Davonta Covin, 17, is charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, street gang terrorism and possession of a firearm during a felony for the September 2009 robbery of Kenya Hosley.

Several witnesses, including a witness who claims that Covin raped her, testified Tuesday in Dougherty County Superior Court.

The witness testified that she saw Covin the night of the armed robbery of Hosley.

James Finkelstein, defense attorney for Covin, claimed Tuesday that the witness could not have seen Covin that night due to where she was standing and the darkness of that night.

The defense produced photos taken at the same location of the armed robbery from the vantage point of where the witness testified that she was standing during the robbery.

The witness testified that there was more light from streetlamps that were on the night of the robbery than what the photos illustrated. The female witness also said that she could clearly see Covin through the windows of Hosley's Ford Explorer that was parked in the street.

Finkelstein also asked Judge Willie Lockette to make an offer of proof in order to prove that the witness -- who testified in Tuesday's trial and also claims that Covin raped her -- was biased toward his client.

Finkelstein said in an interview with The Herald in April that the alleged rape victim had sexual relations with Covin and his brother. The defense attorney said Tuesday that the witness could have possibly have made the rape accusations out of vindictiveness.

Dougherty County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Breedon said that allowing the defense to ask questions regarding the rape accusations would "taint the court and the evidence."

"The defense has no good faith basis. He (Finkelstein) has no proof that these accusations are false," said Breedon during Tuesday's trial.

According to police documents, Covin was arrested on rape charges on April 6 while out on bond after his first trial for the September 2009 armed robbery ended in a mistrial.

No trial date for the rape charges has been set.

On Tuesday, Hosley, the victim of the September armed robbery, said that Covin was innocent of the charges.

Finkelstein said the man responsible for the robbery was Covin's co-defendant Ronald Rollins, who is the cousin of the armed robbery witness who said that Covin raped her.

Rollins pleaded guilty to the crimes and is currently in prison.

Steven Henderson also testified Tuesday and told the court that a day after the armed robbery Covin had told him that he was trying to sell a gun.

Covin's trial will continue today with testimony from detectives who worked the armed robbery case.