COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus man accused of a double homicide on the Phenix City riverwalk made his first court appearance Monday morning.

Damon Daniels Jr., 29, was in Russell County District Court in front of Judge Walter Gray III. 

WRBL was the only media outlet in the courtroom during Daniels’ 72-hour hearing.

Daniels sat in the fourth-floor courtroom and did not say a word as Judge Gray entered a not-guilty plea for him to capital murder and firearm charges. Gray also appointed David Jones to represent Daniels on both charges.

District Attorney-elect Rick Chancey tells WRBL that Daniels is facing capital charges because he is accused of killing two people in one act. Though Daniels has been charged with a capital crime, Chancey said he will not make the decision on seeking the death penalty until after he has had conversations with the families of both victims.

The judge then ordered him held without bond in the Russell County Jail and set a hearing for later this month. 

Daniels is accused of killing 40-year-old Darrely Harris and 32-year-old John Burkus on Dec. 3rd on a stretch of the Phenix City riverwalk just north of the Troy University campus. 

No facts in the case were presented in court this morning. Police have still not given a motive, only saying that Harris and the shooter were involved in something and Burkus appeared to have drawn into it. 

Daniels was living in Columbus at the time of his arrest and was apprehended at what was believed to be his residence on Emerson Avenue. 

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