Robbery at gunpoint alleged in Amery

Greg Marsten | Staff writer
Nicholas Mulroy, left, and James Barnes-Morris
Two arrests made so far, police seeking more info
AMERY – Two arrests have been made and police are still seeking more information on a troubling incident that appears to have involved several young men who are alleged to have held two teens at gunpoint and robbed them in an incident last Wednesday, July 10, at a gas station in Amery.
Witnesses apparently called police shortly after the incident to report a 17-year-old female was taken at gunpoint, robbed and later released. Several juvenile males are also being sought in the incident.
According to the probable cause report filed by the Amery Police Department, the incident took place at about 6:30 p.m. that evening, where at least two victims were allegedly forced at gunpoint into a blue Jeep Liberty, which then headed south on Hwy. 46.
While some details may not be cleared up until the preliminary hearing in several days, it appears that a couple were getting a ride from a man later identified as Nicholas Mulroy, 17, Siren, and another man, James Barnes-Morris, 19, Grantsburg.
The report stated that the two passengers were in the backseat of the Jeep when Barnes-Morris aimed a shotgun at the two, and demanded that the male passenger leave his bag and get out.
Barnes-Morris then allegedly did the same with the 17-year-old female passenger, which is when a struggle ensued and two more underage males emerged from the rear cargo area of the Jeep, one by the name of James and the other named Ruben.
At least one of the two men in the back allegedly pointed a handgun at one of the victims’ torsos, with one of the men stating that he should “just shoot her.”
The female then struggled with Barnes-Morris, who began to choke the woman, while the driver sped off with the door open. Witnesses reported that the door was wide open as the struggle went on with the Jeep speeding off.
In the report, the female victim stated that she began to black out and couldn’t breathe, as one of the males grabbed her wallet and stole several hundred dollars from her.
The driver, Mulroy, later pulled over and let the female out but witnesses were able to share details of what they witnessed with the police, who shared the description of the incident, Jeep and the license plate number with authorities from the Polk and Burnett County sheriff’s departments.
The Jeep was stopped a short time later and Mulroy admitted that he was the driver and that he owned the shotgun that Barnes-Morris appears to have pointed at the victims.
According to a press release by the Amery Police Department on Friday, July 12, information is still being sought on a motive, although they believe the incident was isolated and directed at the two victims.
They also stated that they are still seeking the other two alleged assailants, one of whom is believed to be 15 years old.
“This was not a random act but was directed at certain individuals who had been in the company of the suspects,” the release stated.
The two men in custody were charged late on Friday, with Barnes-Morris being held on a $25,000 cash bond on three felony charges of armed robbery - party to a crime, false imprisonment - party to a crime, and felony strangulation and suffocation.
Mulroy is being held on a $15,000 cash bond for two felony charges of armed robbery - party to a crime, as well as felony false imprisonment - party to a crime.
Both Mulroy and Barnes-Morris are slated to appear in court on Thursday, July 18, before Judge Jeffery Anderson, where prosecutors will present a portion of the evidence they have in the case, for the judge to decide if there is enough to move the cases ahead to trial.
Citing the press release, the Amery Police Department is still seeking the other males who were allegedly involved. They also stated that further details are not available at this time, as this case remains under investigation.
Police continue to seek more information and background on the incident, and ask that if anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Amery Police Department at 715-268-7411.
Look to the Leader for updates after the hearing on Thursday.
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