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Gainesville man charged in 2019 armed robbery

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Montrae Deshon McCray, 22, was charged yesterday in a 2019 armed robbery, just as he was about to be released on his own recognizance due to prosecutors’ failure to file charges within the 40-day deadline after his July arrest on a different armed robbery charge.

According to the arrest report on the 2019 robbery, McCray’s alleged co-defendant, Kyle Cornelius, was invited to the victim’s home, where Cornelius and the victim began discussing drugs. A few minutes later, Cornelius reportedly went to the victim’s front door and let McCray in. McCray was reportedly wearing a black hoodie that was pulled so tightly around his face that only his eyes could be seen. McCray allegedly asked the victim what he had that was valuable, and when the victim said he didn’t have much, McCray allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at the victim, asking him again what he had. When the victim again said he didn’t have much, McCray allegedly removed the magazine from the gun to show the victim that the gun was loaded, then reinserted the magazine. McCray allegedly told the victim his possessions weren’t worth getting shot over and told the victim to get in his bed, under the covers. The victim reportedly complied.

McCray and Cornelius allegedly rummaged through the victim’s belongings, asking him where his money and marijuana were, and the victim finally showed them where to find cash and drugs. McCray allegedly pointed the gun at the victim again when he saw the victim looking at them from under the covers. Cornelius also allegedly took the victim’s phone.

Surveillance cameras in the hall reportedly showed the two men leaving the apartment, and Cornelius is clearly identifiable in the video. Cornelius could reportedly be seen handing the phone to McCray before they got on the elevator.

After the men left, the victim ran out of his apartment and borrowed a phone from someone else on the elevator to call the police. His phone was found in the grass a few blocks away.

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Cornelius reportedly left town soon after the robbery but was arrested in Broward County in September 2019 and extradited to Alachua County. He reportedly made a full confession, identifying McCray, and entered a plea of nolo contendere to robbery. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in state prison, followed by 2 years of probation. He was released from prison in December of 2021.

McCray was arrested on July 25, 2022, on charges of armed robbery and petit theft for allegedly robbing a man who had agreed to give him a ride in August of 2020. McCray was initially held on $150,000 bond on the charges, but his lawyer asked the judge to reduce the bond, and the bond was reduced to $100,000 on August 4. Yesterday, McCray’s lawyer requested that McCray be released on his own recognizance because formal charges had not been filed within the 40-day limit. Judge Pena issued an order today, granting the motion. However, McCray is now being held on $250,000 bond in the 2019 case.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • well at least he will be locked up for 40 days again before being unleashed on us law abiding unarmed citizens

  • What’s with “the prosecutors failure to file charges within the 40 day period”? It sounds like they had plenty of evidence…This is a common theme already with the SAO…Is that dereliction of duty?

  • The criminal masterminds are going to jail for chump change. His rose tattoo shows he’ll be someone’s girlfriend in prison.

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