Geddis, Ellis are indicted in Capawock robbery
Two young men accused of robbing an elderly man carrying the night cash receipts from the Capawock Theater in Vineyard Haven to a bank night deposit box were arraigned in Dukes County Superior Court Friday.
Brett Geddis, 18, of Tisbury, and Michael Ellis, 20, of Edgartown entered not guilty pleas before Associate Justice John Cratsley. Each is charged with unarmed robbery of a person over the age of 60, as well as assault and battery.
Mr. Ellis was ordered held on $20,000 bail, Mr. Geddis on $10,000 bail.
Originally, the two men were charged in District Court. A grand jury indicted them on Thursday, and the case was moved to Superior Court, making them eligible for a state prison sentence if they are convicted of the charges against them.
Despite their youth, both have lengthy criminal histories, including juvenile crimes and probation violations, according to police records.
The charges stem from a robbery on September 30. At about 8:30 that evening, two men approached George Buckley, the ticket taker at the popular Main Street movie theater. Mr. Buckley was just a few steps from the night deposit drop at the Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank on Main Street in Vineyard Haven when, according to police, one man pushed Mr. Buckley, and the other snatched the money bag from under his arm. A former police officer and school crossing guard, the 79-year old Mr. Buckley gave chase up Church Street, but he said he was slowed because of artificial knees in both of his legs.
In court Friday, Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard outlined some of the evidence in the case. "Both confessed to their involvement in the robbery," she told the court. "An independent witness puts Mr. Geddis at the theater shortly before the robbery." She said the two men stole "just under $500," and that the money bag was later recovered.
Public defender Rob Hoffman represented Mr. Ellis at the arraignment. In arguing for bail in the range of $1,000 to $2,500, Mr. Hoffman said Mr. Ellis had strong family ties to the community and had not defaulted on any previous warrants.
Representing Mr. Geddis, attorney Charles Morano also argued for reduced bail, saying Mr. Geddis had cooperated with the robbery investigation. Mr. Morano said he will not represent Mr. Geddis as the case continues, and arrangements were being made to assign a public defender to the case.
Immediately after their court appearance, both were returned to the Dukes County House of Correction, where they have been confined since they were arrested.