Suspect in Columbus shootings pleads not guilty

Daniel Pitts Courtesy of: Columbus Police Department
Daniel Pitts Courtesy of: Columbus Police Department

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Police call him a dangerous criminal and after three weeks on the run, 22-year-old Daniel Pitts finally found himself answering to a judge in Columbus Friday.

The convicted felon faces a laundry list of charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault, and carjacking. He plead not guilty to his 10 charges.

In Recorder's Court, investigators told the judge Pitts is responsible for three separate shootings in South Columbus stemming back to December and in every case, the victims identified Pitts as the shooter in a photographic line-up.

Police say the first shooting happened on December 26th on Wade Street in an area commonly known as "The Hole." The victim, Rodney McCarther says Pitts approached him and offered him drugs. When McCarther says he refused to buy any and started walking away and that's when he says Pitts shot him in the buttocks.

After the shooting, investigators say a tipster contacted them saying Pitts and another man told him they had shot a man in "The Hole" and even showed him the gun.

The second shooting happened February 9th in a church parking lot on Winston Road, officers told the judge.

The victim who sells clothes out of the trunk of his car tells authorities two men approached him and one pulled out a gun. When the victim started to run away, he says the gunman, Pitts, fired at him and then drove off in his Lincoln Town Car.

Two days after that, police say Pitts and a group of men were visiting a house on Sheridan Avenue. When the victim, Randolph Striblen, went outside he says Pitts and another man followed and offered to sell him shoes. When Striblen told them he wasn't interested, he says Pitts pulled out a gun and demanded his shoes and money. Striblen says he refused and that's when he says Pitts shot him in the leg, shattering the bone.

When he was lying on the ground, he says Pitts and an accomplice went through his pockets looking for money before driving off.

So far, detectives say Pitts has refused to make any statements to police.

According to officials, he does have a prior drug conviction from 2007.

Daniel Pitts was arrested with a .380 caliber handgun. Police say bullets and casings from the different cases are being tested to see if they're a match to  his weapon.

Recorder's Court Judge Mary Buckner found probable cause in Pitts' case. It has been bound over to Muscogee County Superior Court.

Pitts is being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.

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