IN COURT: 10th St. murder suspect claims accidental death, staged body as a suicide

10th St. murder suspect goes before a judge for the first time
10th St. murder suspect goes before a judge for the first time
Updated: Feb. 4, 2019 at 4:42 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus man appeared in court today for the first time, facing murder charges in the deadly shooting of his neighbor.

54-year old Edward Lominac pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 27-year-old Travis McDaniel after Columbus Police were called to the scene late Friday night.

Police say that Lominac claims he is not guilty and that he never intended to kill McDaniel. He says he never put his finger on the trigger and that the gun just went off by itself.

The 10th street address was Lominac’s daughters' home, although she was not there at the time of the incident.

Lominac told police the two neighbors were hanging out and drinking beer when McDaniel pulled out a new gun he had just bought and wanted to show to Lominac.

Lominac says when McDaniel was handing over the gun, it was pointed towards McDaniel and accidentally went off.

Lominac then moved the body into a hallway and unsuccessfully tried to stage it as a suicide.

“He placed the firearm in the victim’s right hand and the victim had a bullet wound to the left side of his head,”said Columbus Police.

Lominac said he then called his daughter to ask for help and a ride to the bus station.

Testimony from the daughter says that while she was visiting with her adopted family, her biological father called her on the phone and stated there had been a shooting at her house and someone was shot in the head. He allegedly told her it was an accident and that he was sorry and needed her help.

As for the gun, police say the daughter tells them Lominac actually owns the weapon. She identified it as the same one she used to fire into the air on New Year’s Eve.

No bond was set in recorders court today and the judge handed the case over to superior court.

Stay with News Leader 9 for the latest details in this developing story.

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