Lawyers ask for charges to be dropped in Hollis murder - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lawyers ask for charges to be dropped in Hollis murder

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As family and friends of 24-year-old Maurice Hollis filed out of Recorder's Court on Tuesday, none of them are any closer to knowing the truth about what happened the night he died.

All three men pled not guilty in court, but police are working with a tentative theory.

In court, investigators said they think 25-year-old Carlos Brown, 33-year-old Kubiat Ekperikpe and the victim, Hollis, planned to meet up with 23-year-old Clarence Mahone on Saturday night at Main Street Apartments to rob him of money and marijana.

However, things didn't go as planned, and police say Mahone, the target of the robbery, was the one that ended up shooting and killing Maurice Hollis.

Mahone's lawyer says even if that is the case, his client had good reason to act in self defense, and asked for dismissal of the murder charge.

"The statute is very clear, 'no duty to retreat.' If your minding your own business, even if you have a firearm, and someone is trying to rob or attack you, you have the right to defend yourself," said Stacey Jackson, who is defending Clarence Mahone.

One witness inside the apartment at the time of the shooting backed up Mahone's claim in court, telling the judge there was a man trying to force his way into the apartment, with Mahone saying, "They tried to rob me, I had to do it."

As for the two alleged robbers that lived, their lawyers say their murder charges shouldn't stick, citing a Supreme Court precedent that says as co-conspirators in the robbery, they cannot be charged with murder just by being there.

Shevon Thomas asked the judge to throw out the murder charge for his client, Kubiat Ekperikpe.

"My client was actually the person that drove the deceased to the hospital, and he stayed because he didn't think he had anything to do with the death of what I would call a friend," said Thomas.

The judge, though, decided to keep the murder charges against all three suspects, bounding the case over to Superior Court.

They are being held in the Muscogee County Jail without bond.

Clarence Mahone's girlfriend, Alicia Cleveland, who was being held on a hindering charge in connection to the investigation, was given $10,000 bond.

Police are still waiting on ballistics tests to see if a gun that was found with Mahone at the time of his arrest was the gun used in the shooting.

 

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