Suspected Machete-Wielding Robber Pleads Not Guilty

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A Fayetteville man pleaded not guilty Friday morning of holding a machete to the throat of a taxi driver in July.

Javaughntaiye Willis, 21, entered his not guilty plea at an arraignment hearing in Washington County Circuit Court. He remains in the Washington County Detention Center without bond, on suspicion of aggravated robbery, theft of property, terroristic threatening and other related potential charges, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

He has a trial date scheduled for Oct. 23, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Willis is accused of holding a machete to the throat of a cab driver for NWA Taxi at approximately 2:45 a.m. July 19 at Betty Jo Drive in Fayetteville, police said.

The driver said three men came up to his taxi, one wielding a machete and demanded money.  The three allegedly took the driver’s money, wallet, and cell phone, according to the taxi company.

Alberto Delatorre, 18, and a 17-year-old boy were also arrested in connection with the incident. Delatorre was released from jail on $3,500 bond the next day, according to jail records.

The theft victim called Fayetteville Police after the robbery.

Shortly before 6:40 a.m. Fayetteville Police made contact with occupants at a home on Betty Jo Drive who had a possible link to the robbery.

At approximately 7:11 a.m. six additional police units arrived on scene.  Police were seen patting down one man who was inside the home, two others were seen sitting in the yard of the home.

Shortly after that, police told a man he had five seconds to come out or they are going in.  Officers went inside the home minutes after but did not bring anyone out.

Just before 8 a.m. police handcuffed a black man at the scene wearing a white tank top and took him away in a police cruiser.

At approximately 8:15 a.m. a white man wearing a grey shirt and black shorts was also arrested.  A woman at the home was seen screaming as the man was taken away.  Investigators continued to question the residents at the home after the second arrest.

The items allegedly stolen from the taxi driver were returned, according to police.