COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man accused of killing 26-year-old Demetrius Daniels made an appearance in Recorder’s Court this morning.
Johnte Williams appeared in front of Judge Julius Hunter Wednesday morning after being charged for the April 11, 2021 shooting of Daniels. Detective Robert Nichols told the court on April 11, 2021, around 4:30 p.m. Columbus Police were dispatched to Reese Road.
According to Detective Nichols, surveillance footage from Daniels’ home shows a black Nissan Altima driving by and opening fire, striking Daniels. Detective Nicholas said surveillance footage showed muzzle flashes and gun smoke coming from the passenger window. 16 shell casings were collected from the scene, according to Detective Nichols.
Daniels was pronounced dead at St. Francis Emergency Room, following the shooting.
Courtroom testimony revealed Daniels had been present at Club Flame the night before the shooting, where the fight broke out between him, Williams, and several of their friends.
Detective Nichols told the court video surveillance from the club showed Williams and his brother, Quinton Williams, entering the black Nissan Altima that was allegedly at the crime scene. Detective Nichols said the GPS on Williams’ phone showed he was in the area when the shooting took place.
Detective Nichols told the court Williams’ phone was moving at the same pace and rate of speed as the co-defendant, Quinton’s, phone, placing them in the car together. Quinton was arrested in July 2021.
Williams’ attorney William Kendrick tried to get Judge Julius Hunter to dismiss the case, claiming using his client’s GPS wasn’t enough probable cause to say he was at the crime scene.
“Basically the bulk of the evidence is a cell phone ping that puts his cell phone in the vehicle and that’s it. So this man is going to linger and possibly sit in this jail for one year, two years, three years waiting for his day in court for me to make these arguments to a jury. Based only on a cell phone ping?” Kendrick said.
Kendrick also told the Judge that just because someone’s phone is in one location doesn’t necessarily mean they’re at that location as well.
“I could leave my phone in my girlfriend’s car after a night at the club, we get into a fight, I get maced and I’m completely out of it. There are multiple explanations for that, but your Honor, remember it’s not even proof positive that he was in the vehicle at all. So that’s where I’m saying that’s the problem with these types of cases. Cell phone ping evidence is decent evidence but it shows where a device is, not where a person is,” Kendrick said.
After Kendrick’s statement, Judge Hunter said the cell phone ping was more than enough probable cause and he would have to make his arguments to a jury.
William is being charged with murder and aggravated assault. The case has been moved to Superior Court.