COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A 15-year-old suspect charged with the murder of a Columbus woman appeared in Recorder’s Court this afternoon.
Jabori Baptiste appeared for a preliminary hearing after being charged with murder and robbery in the death of 39-year-old Natalie Bell back in March on Brown Avenue.
He is being charged as an adult due to Georgia Senate Bill 440, which declares juveniles who commit certain felonies can be tried as adults.
Court testimony revealed Baptiste was wearing a pink mask when he attempted to steal a handgun from the victim’s brother at a gas station. Testimony also revealed Bell tried to break up the struggle and was shot.
Corporal Roy Green of the Columbus Police Department testified saying the Mystic Mart’s surveillance video captured images of Baptiste inside of the store and outside near the gas pumps with his face partially covered by the mask.
In today’s hearing, Chief Recorder’s Court Judge, David Ranieri, did not set bond for either of the charges against Baptiste. Judge Ranieri ordered the suspect to have no contact with the victim’s family.
Commotion erupted in the courtroom with Baptiste’s family crying out as he was escorted outside. Baptiste further struggled with deputies as he was being transported back to a juvenile detention center.
The case has been bound over to Muscogee County Superior Court.