Murder suspects plead not guilty to shooting and killing Justis Bolen


It was all a result of a drug transaction gone bad, police say.

Two murder suspects had their first court preliminary hearing Friday morning. 21-year-old Elijah Zovonn Odom and 22-year-old Demario Dewayne Lockhart stood before a judge and plead not guilty to charges of murder, aggravated battery, and possession of a firearm.

Family of Justis Bolen filled two rows of seats in the courtroom.

Detectives say they conducted multiple search warrants and obtained several handguns. Detectives say Odom was in possession of an assault-style rifle. It was obtained during a search Wednesday night on San Vista Drive off Blackmon Road.

Lockhart turned himself in to police around 12:30, the morning of October 3rd, after Odom was arrested. Detectives obtained a search warrant for Lockhart’s home where they discovered two firearms, one being a red and black handgun. They believe that handgun was used to shoot Justis Bolen.

The other gun is believed to belong to either Bolen or the other victim, Xavier Tate. Defense attorney Stacey Jackson says there are social media posts showing Bolen holding the described firearm.

Jackson was retained by the Odom family on Thursday.

“It’s important to know the my client didn’t fire a firearm whatsoever, In all the testimony that Detective gave, there was no evidence that my client fired a weapon,” Jackson says.

Detectives have obtained a plethora of evidence including video surveillance.

The case was bonded to Superior Court, where they will set a bond.

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