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Suspect gives himself up

POSTED: May 20, 2013 7:53 p.m.

Antonial Maurice Kirkland

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An Effingham County man who had been on the run since an April 30 armed robbery is now in jail.

Antonial Maurice Kirkland, 18, of Springfield turned himself in to authorities Monday afternoon, said Effingham County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.

Kirkland was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, felony fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, and several other traffic charges.

Kirkland is being held in the Effingham County Jail. He is scheduled to have a bond hearing Tuesday in Effingham County Magistrate Court.

The ECSO had been working with other law enforcement agencies to find Kirkland, who was considered to be armed and dangerous. Investigators believe Kirkland fled Georgia after committing the crime, Ehsanipoor said.

“We think he felt enough pressure that he needed to turn himself in,” Ehsanipoor said. “Putting his face out there (in the media), I think there was a lot of public pressure on him. We think his family and friends encouraged him to do the right thing and turn himself in, and he did it.”

A man reported on April 30 that two men robbed him and struck him with a pistol on Highway 30. He described the suspects’ car, and a sheriff’s deputy spotted it on Blue Jay Road.

The suspects led deputies on a pursuit on Blue Jay Road to Herbert Kessler Road. The car crashed into a wooded area and the two men ran away.

Deputies quickly caught one of the suspects, Leon Clemmons, 18, of Springfield, but Kirkland evaded the search. Clemmons was arrested and charged with armed robbery.

According to Ehsanipoor, sources told investigators that Kirkland remained in possession of a gun after the robbery. The gun has not been recovered, he said Monday.


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