Key witness testifies in 5 Corner Lotto murder trial in Columbus

Key witness testifies in 5 Corner Lotto murder trial in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A string of armed robberies in Columbus in 2016 and 2017 may have been targeting Indian owned convenience stores, according to prosecutors trying a murder case that’s underway.

One of those ended with Vatsal Patel dead inside his father’s 5 Corner Lotto store on Linwood Boulevard.

There are five defendants suspected of being involved in the ‘5 Corner Lotto’ murder from November 2016. Courtney Williams, reportedly the getaway driver, and Jalontaye Cleveland, the accused shooter, are currently on trial for the murder of Vatsal Patel.

Kimberly Huffman, who is also facing charges in the murder, took the witness stand on Thursday. She is the mother of three of Williams’ children.

Huffman said she had no contact with the co-defendant, Jalontaye Cleveland. Huffman is also accused of being involved. Her GMC Denali is suspected of being used on the night of the armed robbery turned murder.

Huffman said she was at Williams’ mother’s house that night.

After authorities identified Huffman’s vehicle as possibly being the one involved,they noticed something was different.

Huffman said she didn’t know what happened, but claimed she and Williams argued about that night after she saw what she thought could be her car on the news.

Huffman is facing charges of murder as well as giving a false statement to police. She will be tried separately after this case is over.

The judge said there will be no court Friday or Monday due to the holiday weekend.

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.