Detectives say Sands Apt. murder stemmed from drug deal

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Two of the three men accused of killing Jeffrey Morgan last week had their first appearance in court Thursday morning.  Police testified the victim and the suspects were involved in illegal activity before the shooting took place.

Detectives testified that murder victim Jeffrey Morgan was on the phone with one of the suspects, Timothy Robinson, when he agreed to meet at the Sands Apartments for a drug deal.  Officers testified Robinson was trying to form a drug partnership between Dana Kessler and the victim, Jeffrey Morgan.

News Leader 9 asked Timothy Robinson's attorney Stacey Jackson, "Some of the evidence lead us to believe that your client and Mr. Morgan had transactions in the past." He responded, "That I am not quite sure about that. There may be some allegations but we have to do some more research and investigation on that issue."

Witnesses say Morgan's car was parked when Timothy Robinson, Dana Kessler and Edward Love pulled up beside him. That's when police say Kessler got out of the car, attempted to rob Morgan of his money and drugs, then fired a single shot, sending a bullet through Morgan's arm and into his chest.

Timothy Robinson's attorney says his client never intended to take part in a robbery, "During the statement he gave he had no knowledge that Mr. Kessler had a firearm or that Kessler was going to rob Morgan of drugs or money."

But Kessler told police all three of the men knew about the plan. Police say after shooting Jeffrey Morgan, Kessler pulled him out of the driver's seat and took off in the victim's car. Detectives and witnesses only point to Kessler as the shooter in the murder, not Love or Robinson.

Jackson explained, "There's no evidence that he had a guns, weapons, knives, or what have you. And also, from my understanding of the detective's testimony, there is no evidence or eye witness testimony that my client ever got out of the vehicle when this exchange between Kessler and Morgan took place."

Dana Kessler and Timothy Robinson are charged with murder, along with armed robbery, high-jacking a motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Both men will remain in the Muscogee County Jail without bond and their case will be bound over to Superior Court.

Meanwhile, Columbus police are still looking for a third suspect in that case, 22-year-old Edward Love is wanted for murder. If you have seen him, you are asked to call Columbus police at 706-653-3400.

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