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Traffic stop lands Columbus child murder suspect back in jail

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) - Columbus police were looking for Nathaniel Washington-Ghant III on an outstanding bench warrant connected to his son's murder before he was stopped for a seat belt violation Tuesday at the intersection of Elvan Avenue and Victory Drive.

Investigators say 36-year-old Ghant was taken into custody about 4:15 p.m.  Police said Ghant was driving a 1983 Chevrolet Caprice on Elvan Avenue when a patrol officer observed he wasn't wearing a seat belt.

A further investigation on Ghant revealed that his license was suspended and an outstanding bench warrant.

The District Attorney's Office now confirms the bench warrant is connected to the death of the suspect's son, Nathaniel Washington-Ghant IV. The child died back in September of 2016 from "delayed complications due to a traumatic brain injury", according to the Muscogee County Coroner's Office.

ADA George Lipscomb tells News 3's Mikhaela Singleton his office has evidence to show "a direct cause and effect" between the toddler's death and an incident back in 2012 that earned his father Ghant a cruelty to children charge.

Lipscomb says the bench warrant stems from Ghant's two charges in his son's case for malice murder and felony murder. He says a clerical error appears to have allowed Ghant to bond out on his malice murder charge; however, he failed to pay bond on his felony murder charge.

He says he has now entered into a bond agreement with Ghant's lawyer Stacey Jackson and "it does not appear Mr. Ghant was attempting to abscond." He adds the beginning of Ghant's murder trial is set tentatively for July 30.

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