COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man who was acquitted of murder earlier this week was back in court Friday morning.

Ty’Shaun Sylvester is facing 12 felony charges stemming from the late March arrest of local lawyer Allen Jones who was arrested and charged with bringing contraband inside the Muscogee County Jail.

During a Municipal Court hearing Friday morning, a Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office investigator revealed publicly for the first time that authorities have video and physical evidence that Jones delivered cell phones, drugs, and other illegal items to Sylvester.

Here are the new charges that Sylvester is facing:

  • Six counts of giving to or possession by inmates prohibited items charges.
  • One count of crossing state/county guard lines with weapons.
  • One count of intoxicants, drugs without consent.
  • One count of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
  • One count use of a communication facility in the commission of a felony involving controlled substances.
  • Possession of THC oil with intent to distribute.
  • Possession of Hydrocodone with intent to distribute.
  • Possession of contraband with the intent to distribute.

Sylvester was on trial in August for the 2020 murder of Quincey Atkins. A Superior Court jury found him and co-defendant Jessie Harper not guilty of murder. He was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Judge John Martin sentenced him to 10 years in prison, eight to serve.

Sylvester’s most recent charges were on hold as the murder case played out.

At the time of Jones’ arrest, the name of the inmate who allegedly received the contraband was withheld and there were no charges filed against the inmate. It was not known until Friday that the inmate was Sylvester.

Sheriff’s Office Investigator Michael O’Keefe emphasized that this investigation is broader than just Jones and Sylvester.

“Due to the nature of this investigation and other parties involved in it, at the time we did not charge Mr. Sylvester. We waited and were patient to await other evidence on those other parties whose charges are still pending on them,” said O’Keefe.

O’Keefe also made sure to note that Sylvester is a gang member.

“Mr. Sylvester is also a validated documented gang member,” stated O’Keefe.

While in court via Zoom, Sylvester objected to O’Keefe’s statements toward the end of the hearing and addressed the court even after a warning that anything he said could be used against him by Judge Smith.

“I am not charged with no gang charges. I am not charged with nothing but this. I just beat a murder charge. I ain’t got no gang charges, man. I ain’t got no gang charges,” Sylvester told the court.

O’Keefe also explained to the court that the investigation is still ongoing and more additional charges are likely.

Muscogee County District Attorney Stacey Jackson was cautious when discussing the possible gang involvement in the investigation.

“Well, I don’t want to give a preview of the entire circumstances of the case, but based on the information I am receiving from the sheriff’s department and the lead investigator, the defendant is gang-affiliated,” Jackson said. “So, I don’t want to necessarily call it a gang case. But he is affiliated with a street gang.”

The criminal street gang that Sylvester is allegedly associated with was not identified in court.

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