Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wayne County Sheriff Uses Ground Breaking Technology To Solve Robbery

WAYNESBORO, TN- Wayne County Sherriff's Office says they have made arrests in a January 2017, Aggravated Armed Robbery. The technique used to solve the crime had never been used in the United States before this case.

Last January, three armed and masked men entered Berry's Package Store in the southern part of Wayne County not far from the Alabama state line. In just over 90 seconds they were in and out of the store, but not before they allegedly took thousands of dollars and left owners and patrons in fear for their lives.

According to Wayne County Sheriff Ric Wilson, the case almost immediately went cold. The sheriff says they had virtually nothing to go on.

Wayne County is over 700 square miles and the location of the robbery is rural with several escape routes.

The sheriff says that he and investigator Dustin Maulgen went over the video of the robbery and it didn't yield many clues. They then turned their attention to video surveillance of the store in the days leading up to the robbery. On the day prior to the robbery, a video showed three men that came into the store and looked like they may be casing the store.

Detective Malugen found something in the video that stood out to him, he noticed the "gait" of one of the suspects.

 That lead him to research and he came across, Dr. Michael Nirenberg, who is a forensic podiatrist. The Indiana based doctor specializes in "Gait Analysis", the study of how someone walks.

Malugen sent the video of the customer and the alleged robbery suspect to the doctor. After consulting with a colleague in England, they confirmed that the customer was the alleged robber. 

This technology has been used over 100 times in England, but the sheriff said that it had never been used in the United States before this case.

Detective Malugen took his findings to 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper.  The District Attorney office presented the evidence gained through the use of the groundbreaking technology to a Wayne County Grand Jury and got an indictment against Quinton Nance, 30, Florence, Alabama.

Nance was indicted on multiple charges including Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Robbery.

Further investigation lead to a special grand jury being called and the two other men allegedly in the video were indicted.

They have been identified as Corey Fuqua, 29, and Jesse Armstead, 33, both of Florence, Alabama.

Even if a court had ruled the evidence inadmissible, Nance had already allegedly confessed.

Dr. Nirenberg told WOPC HD News that he was impressed with the tenacity and the forward thinking of the Detective Maulgen, Sheriff Wilson and District Attorney Cooper.

Nirenberg has been assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the case of murdered fitness instructor Missy Bevers in Texas. Bevers was murdered by someone that came into her church dressed like a police officer.

The Central Intelligence Agency used "Gait Analysis" to track Osama Bin Laden.

The doctor and the sheriff both hope that law enforcement will use this technology going forward. 

Nirenberg praised the sheriff and the district attorney for going forward with this case and that he believed that they possibly saved lives in the future. 

Photo: Wayne County Sheriffs Office