Investigators: Shooting death believed to be a set-up robbery - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Investigators: Shooting death believed to be a set-up robbery

Dominique Lowe (Source: Columbus Police Department) Dominique Lowe (Source: Columbus Police Department)
Calvin Denson (Source: Columbus Police Department) Calvin Denson (Source: Columbus Police Department)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Dominique Lowe, a man arrested in connection with a murder at a Columbus motel, appeared in Recorder's Court Friday morning. Investigators revealed in court they believe the murder last Friday was an armed robbery set-up.

Lowe, 24, was booked in the Muscogee County Jail Tuesday evening after turning himself in to authorities.

He and Calvin Denson, 19, were wanted in connection with the Friday shooting of Julian Hernandez, 38, who was found in a room at the Plaza Motel on Victory Drive.  

Hernandez worked on Fort Benning as a contract employee.

Friday morning, investigators revealed a person in the room with Hernandez called Lowe to bring cocaine to the hotel room. Lowe brought crack cocaine, but they wanted powdered cocaine.

It was revealed in court that Lowe left and 30 minutes later he brought back powdered cocaine.   After money was exchanged, Lowe left the room.

Then minutes later, a suspect entered the room.  Columbus police believe that suspect is Denson, the person they are still seeking. Denson allegedly came into the room and ordered everyone on the floor.

Hernandez complied at first and then fought. That's when he was shot.

Witnesses say the armed suspect then wiped the door handle, walked around the room and left the area as Hernandez died.

It also came out that no gun or shell casings were recovered.  There were three people inside the room, but none of the witnesses claim Lowe had a gun. However, police say they have received phone records that show Lowe and Denson were in communication with each other and believe it was a set-up armed robbery.

There's still a question of the how much time elapsed between Lowe leaving the hotel room and the armed robbery suspect entering the room.

 "The plaza motel is a Mecca for prostitution and drug activity."  He's interested to know how many phone calls and when the phone calls were made between Denson and Lowe… "We have to know the relationship," Attorney Michael Garner, Lowe's Lawyer.

A judge set Lowe's bond at $45,000 for three aggravated assault charges, but no bond for murder and armed robbery charges. His gun charge was dropped.

News Leader 9 talked to one of Lowe's family members, "My mother didn't raise a murderer," said Monique Lowe,  his sister.

Denson is still on the loose and anyone with information about where he is should call investigators at 706-653-3400.

We'll have a full report on this story beginning on News Leader 9 at Five.
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