COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man accused of killing a mother at a local restaurant appeared in recorders court Thursday.

Jean Richelieu, 36, had his first court appearance after being charged in the shooting and killing of Davetta Mims. 

Courtroom testimony reveals the shooting took place inside a vehicle in the parking lot of Mercy’s Jamaican Kitchen on Milgen Road. Detectives say video surveillance shows the pair arriving to the restaurant but could not see what was going on inside the car at the time of the shooting.

Courtroom testimony also revealed a “distressed” phone call was made to Mercy’s Jamaican Kitchen, and an employee at the restaurant said they could make out Mims voice on the other side of the phone call. 

In initial questioning to detectives, Richelieu suggested that Mims had her hands on the weapon, and he attempted to remove the magazine of the gun before the weapon discharged.

However, Richelieu’s final statement to detectives he said both of his hands were on the weapon at the time of the shooting.  Police said two firearms were located at the scene, one inside the vehicle, and one on the outside.

Defense Attorney Stacey Jackson said based on evidence revealed in court this morning, he argues the shooting was accidental and asked for the charge to be reduced from murder to involuntary manslaughter. 

“And just based on what was presented at the preliminary hearing by the detective, I felt it was a credible argument to ask for involuntary man slaughter, if there was no evidence, there any malice or intent to kill in this case and that it was just an unfortunate accident,” said Jackson. 

Honorable Judge Julius Hunted denied this motion. 

District Attorney Mark Jones considers the shooting was murder among other charges, and plans to fight it as so.

“He’s a shooter. He killed his girlfriend or at least someone he was in an intimate relationship with and that’s it, he pointed the gun at her, and shot at her, and last time I checked that’s murder. So, we’ll see him in court,” said Jones.

This case has been sent to Superior Court. Stay with News 3, on-air and online, as this story continues to develop.