Quintet heads to trial for murder of Alabama preacher - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Quintet heads to trial for murder of Alabama preacher

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Five people from Columbus are heading to trial accused of the murder of an Alabama preacher.  It's been over two years since the reverend's body was found under a Columbus bridge.

Reverend Blanchard Thomas, pastor of Mount Missouri Baptist Church in Pittsview, Alabama was known for helping others but it was his compassionate nature that authorities say led him into the grip of a group of killers.

It was in March of 2011 when Thomas met a woman named Keedra Brummitt in Phenix City.  Police say Brummitt had been assaulted and Thomas offered to give her a ride to Columbus.

The 44 year-old pastor drove Brummitt to the Booker T. Washington Apartments on Veterans Drive in Columbus. When they arrived, authorities claim four men were there waiting.

"We know they had mistaken for the wrong person that supposedly had done this young lady some bodily harm. This is just unnecessary. They didn't have to do what they did to him," the victim's sister Joan Gibson told us the day after he was found.

Thomas was found shot to death inside his S-U-V under the Oglethorpe Bridge. It was shortly after four in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 8th.

*The next day on March 9th, police arrested Brummitt's cousin Joel Thomas.
*March 10th, 2011: Michael Ingram and alleged trigger man Donnie Forte were arrested.
*Over a year later on October 23rd, 2012, Jody Perry was arrested at a Phenix City motel.  

All four man including Brummitt are charged with Thomas' murder and robbing him of his cellphone.

We reached out to the victim's family.  They are declining to speak to the media due to the pending trial.

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning at 9.

For live updates from inside the courtroom: 

https://twitter.com/BrittanyD_WTVM

https://www.facebook.com/brittany.wtvm?ref=tn_tnmn

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