13-year-old among teens arrested for violent robbery spree in Fort Worth last year

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A group of teenagers and one adult are facing charges stemming from a violent spree of robberies last September.

Their targets were convenience stores in southwest Fort Worth. 

There was a certification hearing for one of the accused to determine if a 17-year-old in the group should stand trial as an adult.

During the court hearing Thursday, we learned the youngest of the group is a 13-year old.

In that process, many details about the string of crimes were revealed.

"What do we see here? Looks as if he's threatening him, and about to try to fight or fight him." Those were comments made during Thursday’s hearing, along with surveillance images of robbery after robbery.

In total, there were nine convenience store hold-ups over a three-week period back in Sept. 2018. Details about the crimes came to light in Tarrant County Juvenile Court.

"From speaking with the majority of them, they all stated it was everybody's idea,” Forth Worth PD Det. Daniel Coleman said. “People would basically volunteer for a role in the actually robbery."

The state says a group of four -- armed with the same two weapons and often wearing the same clothing -- carried out the crime spree in which one store clerk was shot.

Some locations were struck twice.

The youngest of the defendants is 13 years old. The oldest, and only adult, is 24-year-old Aaron Jarrel Singleton.

During the hearing, Judge Alex Kim agreed to certify one of the 17-year-olds as an adult.

"These are all first-degree felonies under the law for an adult, so our hope is if the judge certifies the juveniles to stand trial as an adult, they'll face the same procedures and consequences that an adult would face,” prosecutor Tim Bednarz said.

The prosecution points out the defendants met when each lived at the Ladera Palms Apartments on Campus Dr. in Fort Worth. It's also where the getaway car, identified through surveillance video, was found.

"They observed the vehicle, they observed a traffic violation on the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop and Mr. Singleton was actually driving the vehicle,” Det. Coleman said.

Frank Adler, who is the attorney for the 17-year-old defendant who was in court Thursday, believes he should remain in the juvenile system for the benefit of rehabilitation programs.

“The juvenile prison system can handle this young man for the 18 months they will have jurisdiction over him,” Adler said.

Another certification hearing is set for Friday for a second 17-year-old in the group.

If it's decided to transfer them to adult court, they can appeal.

The 13-year-old cannot be considered for adult court.