COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A high-profile Columbus double-murder case is scheduled to start Monday in Muscogee County Superior Court.
And now there are questions about one of the three criminal defense attorneys in the case.
This is the first case in Muscogee County that has been indicted and will be tried by the Georgia Attorney General’s Gang Prosecution Unit.
Brothers Terrance and Homer Upshaw, along with Roderick Glanton are on trial for the June 2021 Wilson Apartments shooting that left 18-year-old Saiveon Pugh and 17-year-old Jesse Ransom dead.
Roderick Glanton is represented by Attorney Allen C. Jones.
When Glanton steps into a courtroom Monday, he and his two co-defendants will face a laundry list of charges. They include murder and violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
The three co-defendants are alleged to be members of the Marlo Street gang that authorities say operates throughout Columbus but is loosely based in the Wilson Apartments area.
The twist here?
Glanton’s attorney has his own legal problems – and there could be a gang connection to them.
Jones was arrested in March and faces 10 charges related to smuggling contraband – drugs and cell phones — into the Muscogee County Jail.
Jones’ license to practice law has been suspended in Alabama, but he is still a member in good standing of the Georgia bar.
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said in a statement Thursday said it was aware of Jones’ legal issues. AND It should not impact the trial.
“We will be ready for trial on Monday morning, and our focus is on presenting the evidence of the case and achieving justice for the community,” the statement from Kara Richardson of the Attorney General’s Office read.
Jones is accused of giving the contraband items to Ty’Shaun Sylvester, a murder co-defendant at the time. Sylvester was acquitted in August of the 2020 shooting death of Quincey Atkins.
District Attorney Stacey Jackson tells WRBL that Jones has not been indicted yet in the contraband case. The DA says that the case remains under investigation for potential gang connections.
Shevon Thomas II is representing Terrance Upshaw. The only problem he sees with Jones’ involvement in the trial is this …
“The only thing that would concern me is if the jurors are aware of what’s going on and if that would affect how they will look at my client,” Thomas said. “There’s ways that we can test that out. And I’m sure that that the process would be smooth.”
Thomas said one of those ways is to ask jurors during voir dire if they know of Jones’ legal issues.
WRBL has tried to reach out to Jones for comment in this case. We have not heard back from him. According to court records, Judge Gil McBride has held Jones in contempt in this case for not responding to court proceedings in a timely manner.
The case starts Monday morning in front of Judge McBride. Jury selection and the trial will be held in McBride’s 11th-floor Government Center courtroom.