Teen Involved in 2009 Robbery May Lose His Probation

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter


By Ryan Jones

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The second teen who received probation for a robbery that led to an assault of Cedar Rapids police officer in 2009 could face a 25-year prison sentence if he's convicted on a new charge and his probation is revoked.

Robert Watkins, 18, was charged last month for driving under a suspended license, according to court records. Watkins has been on probation for less than a year after receiving a suspended sentence for first-degree robbery and interference with official acts causing serious injury. Watkins, who was 17 at the time, robbed two men in March 2009 and officer Tim Davis was seriously injured when he responded to the incident by another teen, Jose Rockiett, now 21, who was with Watkins.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden filed an application last week to revoke Watkins' probation based on the new charge and another violation of missing an appointment with his probation officer.

A hearing on the revocation is set April 26, but any action will likely be delayed until the new charge is resolved.

Another teen charged in the robbery, Maurice Harden, 18, violated his probation last November by racking up six violations but the judge found him in contempt and ordered him to serve 180 days in jail, instead of revoking his probation.

Rockiett was convicted in 2010 of first-degree robbery, willful injury causing serious injury and interference with official acts causing serious injury and/or while displaying a dangerous weapon. He is serving a 25-year prison term. Rockiett hit Davis in the head with the butt of a BB-gun and it took many months for Davis to recover from the serious brain injury.
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