Detective: Suspect in deadly Labor Day BBQ assault punched victi - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Detective: Suspect in deadly Labor Day BBQ assault punched victim in head

Merrick Emory Redding (Source: Columbus Police Dept.) Merrick Emory Redding (Source: Columbus Police Dept.)
Joseph Davis was a custodian at Northside High School in Columbus. (Source: Muscogee County School District) Joseph Davis was a custodian at Northside High School in Columbus. (Source: Muscogee County School District)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The suspect in a Labor Day BBQ assault that led to a Columbus custodian's death made his first court appearance on Wednesday. 

Merrick Redding, 51, appeared in Recorder's Court on Wednesday. He surrendered to police on Monday following a murder warrant in the Sept. 6 death of 47-year-old Joseph Davis. 

In court, a CPD detective testified that Davis died of blunt force trauma from a closed fist to the head. The detective also stated that there was not an argument that led to Redding hitting Davis, according to witnesses. 

Redding's attorney is called for a dismissal of the murder charges; the dismissal comes from a discrepancy in the arrest paperwork given to the court with the wrong murder charges. 

State attorney Wesley Lambertus agreed with the dismissal of the battery charges that were brought before the court. The judge granted the dismissal of the battery charges. 

Redding was on probation at the time of the incident. He is being bound over to superior court on the murder charge. 

Redding was supposed to make his first court appearance on Tuesday, but Redding reportedly stalled in appearing by the court his lawyer was traveling from Atlanta to Columbus and was delayed. 

The incident happened on Bond Avenue on Sept. 6. Following the assault, Davis was taken to Midtown Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Davis worked as a custodian at Northside High School. 

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