Two Columbus men charged with murder over street basketball game altercation appear in court

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Two men facing murder charges after a north Columbus street basketball game turned deadly back in February were in Recorder’s Court Friday morning.

Cadirus Walker, 24, and Darnell Piett, 25, appeared in front of Judge Julius Hunter. Walker was ordered held without bond and the case bound over to Superior Court. Piett’s attorney was unavailable and his case was moved to 9 a.m. Monday.

They are charged with murder in connection with the Feb. 13 beating death of  62-year-old  Danny Jones.

The incident started when Jones drove through a street basketball game on Charter Oaks Circle just after 5 p.m. Jones allegedly scolded those in the game. 

Police say Piett followed Jones to a residence on nearby Wimbish Court. That is where an altercation ensued and Jones was badly beaten around his head and neck.

Jones was hospitalized before dying eight days later. Walker and Piett had been facing aggravated assault charges, but that was upgraded to murder this week when the autopsy results were finaized.

The medical examiner ruled Jones died of homicide from blunt-force trauma to his head and neck,

Walker’s attorney Stacey Jackson argued that his client was not involved in the fight that led to Jones’ death.

“One defendant that is charged with the physical altercation that caused the injury, which is the .allegations against the co-defendant,” Jackson said after the hearing. “And my client is simply charged with standing there and potentially watching the incident, but not being physically involved. It is not even a situation to party to the crime.”

Jones’ brother was reportedly injured in the fight.

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