A stolen cell phone and a bus ticket purchased after a robbery and homicide helped Metro Police detectives track down one of two supects in the case.
Christopher Bell, 17, was arrested in Terre Haute late Saturday night, three days after the fatal shooting of Robbie Gibson in Indianapolis.
According to documents filed in Marion County court, Robbie Gibson and his brother Ron Gibson were working construction on a duplex on North Gray Street when two males approached. One of the males pulled a handgun and demanded everything in the Gibson brothers’ pockets. The suspect then stuck the gun in Ron Gibson’s back and threatened to shoot him, according to what he told police.
Police believe the man with the gun was 20-year-old Adrian Anthony. Anthony was already a fugitive at the time of the robbery, wanted for his role in two violent home invasions on the north side of Indianapolis.
After Ron Gibson gave his cell phone to Anthony, he says the second suspect, believed to be Christopher Bell, took off running. Gibson says he ran after the suspect and then heard a pop, and his brother Robbie yelling “I’ve been shot!”
Robbie Gibson was later pronounced dead with a gunshot to the chest.
Over the next few days, detectives were able to track Ron Gibson’s stolen cell phone to a location in Terre Haute, where Christopher Bell was located at an apartment with his mother. Detectives also confirmed Bell had purchased a Greyhound bus ticket from Indianapolis to Terre Haute on the day after the shooting.
Investigators traveled to Terre Haute with a search warrant and found Ron Gibson’s stolen phone hidden in a plastic clothes bin inside a bedroom closet.
At least one of Bell’s family members told police Bell had mentioned being involved in a robbery with “AD,” believed to be Adrian Anthony. The same family member said the stolen phone kept ringing and a man on the other line kept saying “You killed my (expletive) brother!”
Police informed Bell’s mother they were arresting him for murder and transporting him back to Indianapolis.
IMPD spokesman Christopher Wilburn called the arrest an example of investigators using technology and tireless effort to bring a fugitive to justice.
“If you think you can come into this community, commit a violent crime and get away it with, you’re wrong,” Wilburn said.
Meantime, detectives were preparing to interview Adrian Anthony about the two home invasions he was being charged in. Anthony had just been arrested a few hours earlier after a short police chase near 30th Street and College Avenue. Anthony denied knowing Christopher Bell. But detectives had already confirmed Bell and Anthony shared an address on Guilford Avenue in Indianapolis. Family members at that location had already told investigators that Bell did associate with Anthony.
Although Christopher Bell is not suspected as being the person who shot Robbie Gibson, his alleged involvement in the robbery resulted in a Muder charge against him. He also faces a Robbery charge. He appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. A tentative trial date was set for January 13.
Adrian Anthony faces charges of Murder, Robbery and Carrying a Handgun without a License.
Investigators believe the gun Anthony used to shoot Robbie Gibson was a 9 milimeter. Court documents regarding the home invasions on Spring Mill Road and East 79th Street also refer to Anthony carrying a 9 milimeter. It’s unclear if detectives believe Anthony used the same gun in all the crimes.
Monday afternoon, Adrian Anthony gave media interviews in which he tried to distance himself from the violence involved in the home invasions. Although he aditted to being involved in the home robberies, he denied beating, shooting or raping anyone. However, statements given to police by co-defendants say otherwise.
“”I used my manners,” Anthony said Monday. “I let them know, like Ma’am I don’t want to hurt you. I’m not here to force you to do anything. I’m in a messed up position. I need the money.”
Adrian Anthony faces a total of 75 charges in the home invasions. He had back-to-back initial hearings Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors are working to consolidate his cases into the same court. His trial dates were also set for January 13, but prosecutors expect that to change since it would mean the home invasion trial and murder trial would take place on the same day.
January 13 is the same trial date set for all eleven suspects in the home invasion cases. It is possible those trial dates will be changed as well.