COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The trial for two Columbus men facing murder charges in the 2020 shooting death of another Columbus man wrapped up its fourth day.
Ty’Shaun Sylvester and Jessie Harper are charged in connection with the April 2020 shooting death of Quincey Atkins on Cusseta Road.
The state rested its case, but not before calling GBI ballistics expert Catherine Jordan to stand. They dismissed her, but then prosecutors wanted to ask a couple of more questions.
Jordan had to chase her down before she left the Government Center.
The follow-up questions mostly dealt with a handgun that was believed to be owned by the victim, but was found 10 days later in a Jeep Liberty that prosecutors say was driven by Sylvester.
The defense attorneys and even the defendants seemed pleased when Jordan was done. She did not tie the bullets or fragments that killed Atkins to any of the guns police recovered in this case.
Jordan did not link the ballistic evidence to the semi-automatic weapon that Atkins, Dwayne Jackson, and Anthony McGhee were attempting to purchase from Sylvester and Harper.
The prosecutors say that Sylvester and Harper robbed the three men. The defense has asserted that Sylvester and Harper were the ones being robbed.
Atkins was shot in the back. He crashed his Dodge Charger into a house at Cusseta Road and Betjeman Drive as he was bleeding to death.
Jackson and McGhee put Sylvester and Harper on the murder scene. Jackson and McGhee said they both started running when the shots that killed Atkins were fired. They could not tell the jury who fired them.
An FBI cell phone expert, Senior Agent Richard H. Bilson, was able to place two phones believed to belong to Sylvester and Harper near the Cusseta Road shooting site.
“I have formed an opinion on that both devices were located in the area, a crime scene at the times I indicated,” Bilson said. “And then those devices both traveled south.”
Sylvester and Harper told Superior Court Judge John Martin they did not want to testify in their own defense. He told them to sleep on it and he would ask again in the morning.
If Sylvester and Harper do not put up a defense, the trial will move into closing arguments first thing Friday morning. That means there is a possibility the jury will get the case sometime in the afternoon.