Different Stories Emerge in Murder of Former Carver Football Player

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Belisha Thomas grew up with Jarvis Sanks, staying close friends throughout their school years and even after their 1996 graduation from Carver High.

"He was really a good person, and I'm so sad and hurt this had to happen. It's so senseless, and I'll be glad when they get to the bottom of it," said Thomas.

Thomas listened to the evidence police presented in Recorder's Court Tuesday, where one of the teens charged in Sank's murder made his first appearance.

17-year-old Dezmond Cannon is charged with murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Investigators say last Wednesday night, Sanks and Ronald Coleman met up with two teens, Dezmond Cannon and Rodney Pugh, with several bags of marijuana in Coleman's car.

According to statements made to police by Cannon, Pugh didn't have enough money to buy the drugs, so he decided to rob the two men instead.

Cannon told police he and Pugh hid behind a home on Lansing avenue, and when the two other men showed up, Pugh started shooting.

Cannon's lawyer kept emphasizing that point in front of the judge.

"It's tragic, but it's also important to convict and charge the right person, and the evidence shows that Dezmond Cannon was not the shooter in this incident," said attorney Joseph Wiley Jr. who is representing Cannon.

Police disagree, saying they have consistent witness testimony which shows the opposite: that cannon did have a gun, and could have been the shooter.

Meanwhile across town, friends and family of Jarvis Sanks comfort each other during his wake, still in shock over the former football player's death.

"It hurts, it's senseless, and for drugs? To take somebody's life over drugs, it's senseless," said Thomas.

The judge found enough evidence, and bound the case over to Superior Court.

Cannon is being held without bond at the Muscogee County Jail.

As for the other suspect, Rodney Pugh, police are still looking for him.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Columbus Police.