COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – It was a busy morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court today, with two murder suspects and an armed robbery suspect making their first appearances before a judge.
The three suspects in court for the first time were Carlos Hatcher, Jr., charged with the murder of Jordan Rivers at a Citgo gas station, Deronte Brown, charged with the murder of Edgar Harris at the Wilson Apartments, and Marquis Lawrence, accused of robbing a bank on Tuesday.
Carlo Antonio Hatcher faces a murder charge for the Oct. 19 shooting death of Jordan Rivers at a Citgo gas station. Hatcher was represented by Columbus attorney Mark Shelnutt.
According to testimony from police Sgt. Jeff Kraus, Hatcher was in a Chevrolet Impala that pulled up at the Citgo, in the 1400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He was angry and yelling at Rivers and another man, left, and then minutes later came back and shot Rivers as the other man ran back into the store.
The altercation is on security video, but not the shooting itself. Eyewitnesses say Hatcher fled the scene on foot. He was positively identified by his mother, father, and brother. Hatcher was arrested at his grandmother’s home in Eufala on Halloween.
Hatcher pleaded not guilty. Judge Julius Hunter ordered the case bound over to Superior Court and Hatcher held in Muscogee County Jail without bond.
Emotions held at bay in the courtroom spilled over outside as families for the defendant and victim got into a verbal altercation and had to be separated by law enforcement. No one appeared to be arrested from the altercation.
Deronte Kahlil Brown is accused of shooting Edgar Lee Harris IV to death at the Wilson Apartments on July 6. Police Sgt. Dexter Wysinger told the court the shooting was the result of a drug deal gone bad.
An associate of Brown’s had assaulted Harris with a baseball bat minutes before Brown shot him in the back, police say.
Brown was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Phenix City back in August on unrelated charges. He was extradited back to Columbus on and charged with the murder on Nov. 4.
Brown pleaded not guilty and Judge Hunter ordred the case bound over to Superior Court, with Brown to be held in Muscogee County Jail without bond.
Marquis Lawrence was charged with Armed Robbery of the Regional Members Federal Credit Union on 15th Street on Nov. 5. After pictures of the suspect pulled from surveillance footage was released to the media, 10 people called police to identify Lawrence. He was taken into custody on Nov. 6.
CPD told the court that Lawrence was filling out paperwork to become a member of the bank, then indicated he had a gun in his pocket. The cashier provided Lawrence with access to the cash drawer. He took it and fled the scene.
While being interviewed by police, Lawrence admitted to the robbery, but the money was not recovered, police say.
Lawrence pleaded not guilty and the case was bound over to Superior Court. He was ordered held without bond.