SFA student describes robbery

DeMarcus Wade mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
DeMarcus Wade mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A trial of a Nacogdoches man accused in an armed robbery on the SFA campus began Tuesday morning with the victim describing the incident.

DeMarcus Andre Wade, 23, is charged with aggravated robbery.

Manuel Villanueva was the first person on the stand. He described how one night in January, he was walking to his dorm at Hall 14 from the recreation center when a car pulled up and one of the men inside asked if he could "bust a 20."

Villanueva told them he said he could not and kept walking. That is when the duo did a U-turn and came back and the passenger pulled a gun and demanded his money and wallet.

Villanueva said he gave them what they wanted and they drove off. He said he then called police and officers from SFA arrived within five minutes.

Villanueva said he had $2, a credit card, a debit card, a driver's license, worker identification and other forms of identification in his wallet. He said Wade was the passenger in the car.

He had immediately turned off his accounts, but authorities had them reactivated to monitor activity. A couple days later, his debit card was used at a Chevron on University Drive.

Wade's attorney, Winfred Sparks, tried to discredit Villanueva's testimony by saying that Villanueva first saw Wade's face on the evening news.

Villanueva continuously insisted he recognized Wade's face as the person who robbed him.

Sparks also tried to discredit him by referring to Villanueva's initial description, which differed from Wade's actual appearance. But Villanueva continued to insist that he recognized Wade's face.

In later testimony, SFA Det. Richard Shelton testified he pulled a video taken from a parking garage camera that showed the suspect car at the intersection where the car traveled. Det. Amanda Kennedy testified that bank records obtained on January 18 showed two credit cards were used within 30 minutes of each other on January 16, the day of the robbery.

Kennedy also testified that video led to a connection to the car at Sutherland's, where they learned who the owner of the car was and she was able to tell police the names of the suspects, which led to their arrests.

A jury in May sentenced Wade's co-defendant, Jerry Don Thorn, to 35 years in prison.

Wade's mother doesn't want the same for her son.

"Nobody went looking for a gun," she said. "And nobody had proven they had a gun. They only basically going on what the victim said. I'm hoping for the better, but it may be worse, I don't know."

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.