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Crime spree suspects plead not guilty

Willie Bell and Demetrius Beckworth
Posted at 8:32 PM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 13:20:18-04

FORT MYERS, Fl. — The two men arrested for a string of armed robbery, burglary, and leading Lee County Sheriff's deputies on a high speed chase will be back in court on April 26 after pleading not guilty in court Monday morning.

20-year- old Demetrius Beckworth and Willie Bell, 18, appeared in court on Monday for the first time since they were arrested for allegedly performing multiple armed robberies and home invasions in a Lehigh Acres neighborhood. That was back on February 16th.

Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), probable cause statement, outlined the chain of events that day. According to LCSO documents, one of the the victims, whose home was broken into, said that he was watching TV in his garage when three black males wearing black masks broke in, pointed handguns and demanded money from him.

LCSO documents reveled that Bell was identified as the suspect who took the victim's wallet and phone while striking the victim with the bottom of his firearm. Documents also stated that Bell admitted to robbing the victim.

Willie Bell's mugshot

Shortly after the home invasion, deputies received a call about an additional robbery that happened at a construction site near the location of the break-in.

Last month, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said that deputies located the vehicle linked to the construction site scene on Fred Avenue South, but the person behind the wheel took off - resulting in a high-speed chase. Deputies said this led to the suspect hitting two vehicles and almost ramming into a school bus.

Beckworth was later identified as the driver. According to the probable cause documents, Beckworth confessed to being the getaway driver. He said he knew that guns were in the car, and that was why he ran from the deputies who attempted to pull him over.

Demetrius Beckworth's mugshot

He was driving without a license and was arrested on the charges:

1. Robbery with a firearm
2. Conveyance Burglary
3. Flee/ Elude Police
4. Operate Motor Vehicle without a valid license
5. Hit and Run and fleeing the scene of two crashes.

Bell was arrested on the charges:
1. Robbery with a firearm
2. Conveyance Burglary

Two other men were involved, but have not been arrested. Bell and Beckworth are still in custody, and will go before a judge again on April 26th at 11 a.m.