Third arrested in double murder

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Before court was even called into session Wednesday, WTVM's cameras captured exclusive video of a surprise arrest.

22-year-old Xavier Cannon was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom by police, after warrants came down charging him in the double murder of Jarvis Sanks and Justin Coleman.

Police say Cannon was an accomplice with full knowledge of the murders, driving both Rodney Pugh and his brother Dezmond Cannon to the crime scene, providing the gun used to kill the victims, as well as picking up his brother after the shooting.

Joseph Wiley Jr. the attorney for the Cannon brothers, though, doesn't believe all the evidence is solid.

"Without a doubt, the evidence is in conflict, and it's confusing about what happened based on what we know so far," said Wiley.

The controversy centers around who actually shot Sanks and Coleman.

Dezmond Cannon told police that Pugh planned the robbery and shot the two men.

Several eyewitnesses though, in addition to Pugh himself, tell police it was Cannon who had the gun and shot the two victims, before taking their drugs and weapons and running off.

Police are now looking for two other men they believe came with Sanks and Coleman to the scene, and managed to get away unharmed.

They hope those men can finally say who actually pulled the trigger.

Meanwhile, attorneys in the case say police shouldn't jump to conclusions.

"There's only one shooter, one person that committed murder, and two people that can shed light on the situation...we shouldn't be speculating over Xavier or Dezmond or Mr. Pugh," said Wiley.

Rodney Pugh is being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail, after the judge found probable cause and sent the case to Superior Court.

As for Xavier Cannon, he will be in Recorder's Court Friday morning at 9 AM facing two counts of murder.

Another issue for detectives is the large amounts of marijuana involved.

Police say six pounds of dope were taken from Jarvis Sanks at the crime scene by Dezmond Cannon, along with more found in Justin Coleman's car at the crash site.

Detectives say they may have stumbled onto a local dope ring, and this murder could lead them to more drug arrests.

Stay tuned to News Leader Nine for the latest in this case.