0

Verdict returned in 5 minutes

ALBANY, Ga. -- A jury hardly closed the door to its deliberation room before agreeing on a guilty verdict Wednesday.

"The bailiff knocked on the door about five minutes after the jury went in to deliberate and said he had the evidence for the jury," Dougherty Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Kathy Fallin said. "The jury said they had reached a verdict."

The jury convicted Rockney Alexic Puckerin of three aggravated assault counts, two armed robbery counts and possession of a gun by a felon Wednesday in the Albany-Dougherty Judicial Building.

According to Fallin, Derek Leroy Roberson pleaded guilty to similar charges -- minus the gun possession charge -- stemming from the same crime on Tuesday. He must serve at least five years before he can ask for parole. Without parole, he will not get out for 20 years.

Puckerin faces sentencing at another date.

As a convicted felon, Puckerin will no doubt be given a harsher sentence, especially because he carried a loaded handgun, Fallin said.

Puckerin and Roberson broke into a house at 207 Pinson Road, next door to their residence at 205 Pinson Road, at about 4 a.m. Puckerin had the handgun, Roberson a crowbar and they assaulted the Hispanic residents.

"They stole about $50 from a purse," Fallin said, "and they took about $35 more and ran out the door."

Finding evidence of the weapons during a search led to the Albany Police Department's bomb dog Bubie's first contribution to a conviction, said a police spokesperson.

After 7 a.m. May 24, information from the community led the police to 205 Pinson Road. Bubie did what officers at the time called an "air scan" of the residence.

Bubie's nose zeroed in on the gun and crowbar hidden away in black plastic bags in a back room. The bags also had the clothes and ski masks Puckerin and Roberson wore during the robbery. Officers arrested the pair later the same day.

Good dog, Bubie.