COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The trial begins on the morning of Feb. 17 for Columbus' first homicide of 2013. Charles Foster Jr. was a senior at Columbus State University when he was shot and killed early New Year's Day at Majestic Sports Bar on Cusseta Rd.
Dequandrea Truitt and Shaquille Porter were arrested and charged with Porter's murder as well as shooting at six other people that same night. Truitt and Poter are scheduled to face a judge Monday morning for their charges.
Rev. Willie Phillips, who lives few blocks away from Majestic, campaigned to have the bar closed since 2004.
"When that bar was opened, you can hear shooting all over this neighborhood," Rev. Phillips said. "Young people at the bar would come through this neighborhood, drive fast and there was a lot of crime. However, crime has reduced in the area since that bar stopped opening."
Majestic Sports Bar has not been officially closed, but the bar's liquor license was revoked in 2013. The owners of Majestic have also been arrested and charged for allowing under aged people into the bar and for not having proper liquor license.
Reverend Phillips said he's become close to Foster's family ever since the CSU student passed away. Reverend Phillips stopped campaigning for Majestic's closure a few years before Foster passed away because he was scared.
"People were breaking my windshields and slashing my tires," Rev. Phillips recalled. "I had small children with me back then, and I was afraid of them getting hurt, so I backed off. However, when Foster passed away, I knew I should have fought harder. I can't believe the community and I waited this long to protest, but we are still going at it."
Mayor Tomlinson explained that the city is inspecting other bars and clubs nowadays to see if they are all meeting legal standards as well.
"When we close down crime havens, it makes a tremendous difference to the community and we are going to keep going with it," Mayor Tomlinson said. "Anyone is welcomed to have a lawful business in Columbus, and we look forward to promoting your success, but if your business becomes a crime haven, we will shut you down because we are not going to tolerate that."