COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The second of two brothers accused in a June double homicide that happened near a public housing complex located at 3400 8th Avenue appeared in Columbus Recorder’s Court Tuesday morning.
Homer Upshaw, 26, entered a not guilty plea in front of Judge Julius Hunter. The case was bound to Superior Court without bond.
Homer Upshaw and Terrance Upshaw, 29, both of Columbus, Georgia, each face charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm or knife during gang activity charges, according to Muscogee County Jail records.
They are accused of firing into a vehicle, killing Jesse Ransom, 17, and Savieon Pugh, 18. Ransom was dead at the scene on June 14. Pugh died hours later at Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Midtown campus. Two other teens were injured in what police called an ambush.
Police testimony said there was surveillance video prior to the incident. More than 50 shell casings were found in the wake of the shooting. From that video Sgt. Kyle Tuggle told the court he has identified that Homer Upshaw was the shooter from video.
Defense attorney William Kendrick produced a defense witness who said the men in the car fired first. Tuggle says that the video does not show that. Kendrick maintains the potential drive-by shooters got the worst of the ordeal.
Kendrick asked the judge to dismiss the murder charges based on the fact that there is no evidence that puts Homer Upshaw on the scene.
“We need more than a waist-down clothing ID,” Kendrick said.
When Homer Upshaw was arrested in late July, more than 15 pounds of marijuana was discovered in the residence where he was taken into custody. During a police interview, Homer Upshaw admitted that the drugs were his, according to police testimony. But he denied being at the location when the June shooting took place. Homer Upshaw is also facing drug trafficking charges.
Terrance Upshaw appeared in Recorder’s Court on July 29. Both brothers were scheduled in court in late July, but Homer Upshaw’s hearing was delayed because he was in medical confinement in the Muscogee County Jail. Terrance Upshaw is being represented by attorney Stacey Jackson. Attorney William Kendrick is representing Homer Upshaw.
District Attorney Mark Jones announced after the July 29 hearing that his office would seek the death penalty against both suspects because it was a double homicide.
The July appearance was an emotional hearing where the mother of one of the surviving victims lashed out at Terrance King in open court.
Shouting, she kept telling the accused that she wanted him to remember her face.