COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus teenager was in Superior Court Thursday morning as details emerged from an August incident where he was arrested inside Odis Spencer Stadium with two loaded guns.
Kenneth Robins, 17, is facing the possibility of 20 years behind bars if he is convicted of two counts of carrying weapons within certain school areas after being indicted by a Muscogee County Grand Jury.
Local authorities say a Muscogee County School District officer inside the Odis Spencer Stadium noticed the outline of a firearm in Robin’s bookbag during the Spencer-Greenville football game back on Aug. 18.
Authorities say that during a search of Robins and his bookbag, two 9-millimeter handguns were found. One was located inside the bookbag and the other was in a jacket pocket. Law enforcement also found 28 rounds of ammunition, including a round inside each handgun.
As children obtaining handguns becomes more of a frequent problem, the Chattahoochee Circuit district attorney says that Robins’ case represents the growing problem of juveniles’ dangerous relationship with firearms.
“I’ll just say that it is an example of a problem with the relationship between teenagers, young people, and firearms,” said DA Stacey Jackson. “And I don’t necessarily believe this a local problem, this local, state, and national problem There’s just too many guns falling in the hands of young people, including teenagers.”
Fortunately, Jackson says effort from law enforcement prevented a dangerous situation from becoming worse.
“Luckily in this event nothing dangerous as far as someone being injured happened. But obviously, any time you have a firearm involved in any situation is the propensity that something bad could happen, especially when you’re dealing with someone who may not have a familiarity with a gun,” Jackson said.
The arrest of Robins was not reported, but the week after he was arrested the Muscogee County School District changed its policy on admission to high school athletic events.
The school district put restrictions on bags and began to search and use a metal-detecting wand on those entering games.
“In an ongoing effort to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees at athletic
events, the Muscogee County School District announces the implementation of a new bag policy
effective immediately. This policy aims to streamline security procedures, minimize potential risks, and create a more secure and enjoyable experience for everyone,” the school district release stated on Aug. 22, four days after Robins’ arrest.
On Aug. 25, there was a separate and unrelated incident at the annual Carver-Spencer game at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium. Police have said a fight between two juvenile girls inside the stadium sparked panic. Outside the stadium, three teenagers were arrested on gun changes.
That incident sparked more changes to the Muscogee County School District football games, including moving games out of Memorial Stadium to school district-owned facilities.
Robins turned 17 last November. If he had still been 16 when he was arrested, he would have faced a much different legal situation. Instead of a month or two in the Youth Detention Center, he’s now looking at serious prison time.
“You know in Georgia, when you’re 17, you assume a greater responsibility and accountability because you’re an adult once you reach that age,” Jackson said. “And that is something that young people should know your accountability drastically changes when you turn 17 that year. You’re not a kid anymore. You are treated by the court system as an adult. So young people really need to understand that. Definitely.”
Robins has been held in the Muscogee County Jail since his arrest. He was scheduled for a bond hearing in front of Superior Court Judge Ron Mullins but that hearing had to be postponed because Robins’ attorney was unavailable.