Judge sets bond for suspect in Buena Vista Road Pizza Hut homicide

Local News
Tommie Jamal Mullins

A 25-year-old Columbus man facing murder charges in connection with the April shooting death of an aspiring rapper in the Buena Vista Road Pizza Hut park lot was given a bond Thursday by a Superior Court judge.

Tommie Jamal Mullins had bond set at $275,000 for the April 6 shooting death of Branden Denson, according to the Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk’s office. Judge William Rumer also set a $50,000 bond for a probation violation by Mullins. Friday morning, Mullins remained in the Muscogee County Jail, where he has been since his arrest in late August.

Bartlett Coppins, 24, and Eric Randall Spencer, 29 also face murder charges in the case.

Mullins was represented by Columbus attorney Stacey Jackson in the bond hearing. Jackson was asking Rumer to set the bond at $50,000 on the murder charge and $10,000 on the probation violation.

State law requires a bond be set if the case has gone 90 days without an indictment, The prosecution was asking for no bond on the probation violation.

“These bonds are in line with other bonds set in similar cases by Judge Rumer and other judges,” Jackson said on Friday.

Denson in the parking lot of Pizza Hut at 4236 Buena Vista Road. Judge Julius Hunter ordered Mullins held without bond and bound the charge over to Muscogee Superior Court.

Denson was found shot three times in the back while sitting in the driver’s seat of his Jeep Wrangler.in the parking lot of the restaurant at 4236 Buena Vista Road, according to Recorder’s Court testimony.

Coppins was identified by detectives in his August Recorder’s Court hearing as the suspect who shot and killed Denson. Spencer’s fingerprint was found on the Jeep, according to court testimony.

Mullins was the one who planned the robbery, police said.

Just before leaving his parents home the night he was killed, Denson filled a suitcase with 15 to 16 pounds of marijuana and told his father he was going to meet a man with the nickname “TJ” at the Pizza Hut less than 2 miles away, according to the Ledger-Enquirer account of the Recorder’s Court proceedings.

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