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Defendant skips court as jury delivers verdict

When it came time for Tahj Wilson to hear the jury’s verdict Wednesday, he was nowhere to be found.

The Huntersville man was on trial this week on multiple charges of robbery, conspiracy and felony possession of cocaine. When Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin adjourned court on Tuesday – with the jury still deliberating – Wilson left with everyone else.

When Ervin gaveled the trial back into session Wednesday morning, Wilson was a no-show, according to prosecutors.

So the 24-year-old defendant wasn’t facing the jury members when they convicted him of one of the robbery charges, along with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and cocaine possession.

There was one bit of good news that Wilson has yet to hear: He was found not guilty on a second robbery charge.

A spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office said instances of defendants skipping out on their own trials have happened in the past, but not often.

The charges against Wilson stem from a 2011 undercover drug buy in which police met Wilson in a restaurant parking lot in Huntersville to buy marijuana, prosecutors say.

An accomplice, Garnett Taylor, showed up, pulled a gun and asked police, “You know what time it is.”

Then he and Wilson robbed the officers of a cellphone, cash and car keys, according to prosecutors.

Other police monitoring the buy quickly arrested both suspects. Taylor has already pleaded guilty to charges connected to the case.

Wilson will be sentenced as soon as police find him.

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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