Man accused of Columbus DJ's murder appears in court - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Man accused of Columbus DJ's murder appears in court

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A man accused of taking the life of a Columbus DJ appeared in Muscogee Superior Court  Friday afternoon.

Ricardo Strozier, 23, is accused of breaking into the home of 25-year-old Heath Jackson and shooting him to death in his 1667 Cater Ave. home

Strozier has several very serious charges against him including murder and armed robbery; He's pled not guilty to all charges.

News Leader 9 spoke with Joseph Brannan, a friend and colleague of Jackson's who says he is happy the process is finally in motion after two years of waiting.

"Around the office, people speak about the old times of Heath and the fun stories we have of him. The prank calls he would make from time to time which were hilarious," Brannan said. "He'd been working on the various radio stations for about five years so it's something he picked up, part-time and when ‘The truth' came along, he became full-time there at the truth doing the morning show."

Prosecution says Strozier was in Jackson's home attempting to rob him on September 7th, 2010 when Jackson came home on a lunch break.

District Attorney Julia Slater says Friday's hearing was an arraignment of a re-indictment. Strozier had to appear in court again after the DA changed wording in the original indictment, according to Slater.

"There was no additional charge in the re-indictment. The indictment can speak for itself; it's the same number of charges we did change two words into one in one of the counts," Slater said.

The DA's office is seeking the death penalty in this case.

"I'm not going to speak on the decision itself [to seek the death penalty], but we do intend to seek the death penalty in this case," said Slater.

Defense attorney Burton Baker says the re-indictment slows down the process of going to trial even more.

"This case was re-indicted, in that sense the clock has started over a little bit. I would say the earliest we could [go to trial] would be late 2013; and I'm being optimistic. It's not because anybody wants to delay the trial it's just that we have to work within the resources the state of Georgia has."

Although the case may not go to trial until late next year, they are due back in court for a motion hearing in December.

"We just have to know and have faith that justice will be served for Heath and his family," said Brannon.

Brannan says he is fully supportive of the DA seeking the death penalty in this case.

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