A man shot in a January dispute identified his alleged killer to police minutes before he died, a Columbus detective testified Monday morning in Recorder’s Court.
As 35-year-old Joseph Dukes was clinging to life following multiple gunshot wounds, he identified 29-year-old Deante Caruthers as the man who pulled the trigger.
Caruthers appeared in front of Judge Julius Hunter and entered a not guilty plea. Hunter ordered Caruthers held without bond and bound the case over to Superior Court.
Dukes was found shot on Moye Road at about 3:45 a.m. the morning of Jan. 20. He died at the Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown campus emergency room.
Before dying, Dukes was able to tell police that Caruthers was the triggerman and he was shot in the Sweetwater area of Columbus, Detective Sherman Hayes told the court.
There is also other substantial evidence that points to Caruthers, Hayes said.
The two men were in an altercation and stood nose to nose off Buena Vista Road, about a mile from where Dukes was found. There were multiple witnesses who saw the standoff, which Hayes described as something you would see between two boxers just before a fight. Those witnesses, according to court testimony, said Caruthers stepped back and fired shots into Dukes’ torso.
In addition to witness testimony, there are also multiple security cameras that captured the altercation and shooting, Hayes said.
“I think we’re going to have to continue to investigate this thing,” Caruthers’ attorney William Kendrick said after the hearing. “What is curious to me is that we don’t really have a feed on or a line into any other motive, any other backstory, or any other back and forth.”
The victim’s family was in the courtroom, but declined to comment.