Judge addresses witness intimidation during 5 Corner Lotto murder trial in Columbus

Judge addresses witness intimidation during 5 Corner Lotto murder trial in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Two of five suspects accused of murdering a man during an armed robbery in Columbus in 2016 sat through their fifth day of trial on Tuesday.

Courtney Williams and Jalontaye Cleveland are charged with murdering Vatsal at 5 Corner Lotto.

The fifth day of trial started off with news from last week that’s unrelated to the facts of the case. Judge Bobby Peters said audience members related to Williams supposedly contacted witnesses who took the stand last week.

Peters made it clear that such actions are not acceptable.

"Well just a note, people who make the calls to the witnesses, give them dirty looks, whatever, if you're trying to intimidate them, you're not helping this case at all,” said Peters. “You're only hurting it. If she comes in, I want her to know she'll be banned from the courthouse."

Several Columbus Police Department took the stand and one of the most vital witnesses, co-defendant Dominique Collins, is expected to take the stand Wednesday. The district attorney’s office said Collins identified Williams as the getaway driver and Cleveland as the gunman in the murder at 5 Corner Lotto.

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