Eleven arrested after deadly crime spree around Bolivar, Hardeman County

HARDEMAN COUNTY, Tenn. — Eleven people, including four juveniles, have been arrested in connection with a string of armed robberies that left a teenager dead in Bolivar.

At least four of the suspects face charges of first-degree murder or attempted murder.

Investigators began to unravel the crimes after Michael Ruiz, 19, was killed March 20 during an armed robbery of the El Ranchito restaurant in Bolivar.

As the state began its investigation of that case, they found evidence that linked the murder to several armed robberies in Hardeman County between Dec. 9 and March 30.

Investigators say the robbers hit the following businesses:

  • December 9, 2017: Ready Mart, 670 N. Main Street, Bolivar
  • December 11, 2017: Big Lakes Grocery 433 E. Market Street, Bolivar
  • January 15, 2018: Dollar Tree, 1361 W. Market Street, Bolivar
  • February 24, 2018: Larry’s Quick Stop 1835 Highway 64, Whiteville
  • February 27, 2018: Dollar General 13465 Highway 100, Toone
  • March 20, 2018: El Ranchitos, 1363 W. Market Street, Bolivar
  • March 30, 2018: Dollar General, 22995 Highway 64, Hornsby

Excluding the juveniles, the following adults were charged by authorities:

  • Taylor Lucas Robinson, 18, of Bolivar: Aggravated Robbery (x3), Possession of Firearm Attempting to Commit a Dangerous Felony (x3), First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder (x2). No bond.
  • John Gray, 19, of Bolivar: Especially Aggravated Robbery, Possession of Firearm Attempting to Commit a Dangerous Felony, First Degree Murder. No bond.
  • Jamarcus Dequan Murdock, 19, of Bolivar: Aggravated Robbery (x2), Possession of Firearm Attempting to Commit a Dangerous Felony. Bond: $400,000
  • Tacyvin Demetriez Douglas, 18, of Bolivar: Aggravated Robbery. Bond: $20,000
  • Brenterrius Eesean Holmes, 18, of Whiteville: Aggravated Assault. Bond: $150,000.
  • Benjamin Turner, 18, of Bolivar: Aggravated Assault (x2), Attempted First Degree Murder, Possession of Firearm Attempting to Commit a Dangerous Felony. No bond.
  • Jaquan Blakemore, 18, of Bolivar: Aggravated Robbery, Attempted First Degree Murder. No bond.

The Tennesse Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests Friday after a joint investigation that included the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Department, Whiteville Police Department, Bolivar Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.