Columbia man pleads guilty to armed robbery at Mall

A Columbia man observed by a Howard County Police surveillance team committing an armed robbery near the Mall in Columbia pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court on Friday, according to State's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

Odell Kareem Copeland, 32, of the 5200 block of Eliots Oak Road, had his bond revoked by Judge Timothy J. McCrone and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, according to Kirwan.

Under the plea agreement, the prosecution will seek a 20-year prison sentence with all but 12 years suspended, Kirwan said. 

Copeland is one of two men implicated in the armed robbery, which occurred in a parking lot near Union Jack's Restaurant, located in the 10400 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, on Sept. 6, 2012. 

A police surveillance team observed two men, later identified as Copeland and Pierra Antwan Booth, of Randallstown, commit what appeared to be armed robbery.

Police said the team observed the pair approach the victim while he was attempting to get into his car. As they were approaching, one man took out a semiautomatic handgun, fumbled with it, and dropped it on the ground, police said.

The man then picked it up and continued to walk toward the victim.

The surveillance team also said one of the suspects pointed the handgun at the victim's stomach and head, while both men rifled through the victim's pockets to steal a cell phone, car keys, pack of cigarettes and $75 cash, according to police. 

Kirwan said Copeland's defense attorney, Matthew F. Williamson, emphasized Copeland never had possession of the handgun during the robbery.

Booth is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 27.

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