COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It was a killing carried out in broad daylight right in the middle of traffic along Macon Road in Columbus.
Now, the suspect in the 2018 murder case could bond out of jail for a second time. Markel Ervin is accused of shooting and killing Destinee Virgin in September 2018.
The District Attorney’s Office was not able to get a grand jury indictment within 90 days of Markel Ervin’s arrest, therefore by law, he’s entitled to a bond hearing. Judge William Rumor granted the suspect a bond of $250,000, which the assistant DA on the case says is not unusual.
Ervin is facing a number of charges, including murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and kidnapping,
He is accused of shooting and killing Virgin last September on Macon Road, where a makeshift memorial now sits.
“The state asked that the judge set the bond as high as the law will allow. Judge Rumer made the decision to set the bond that day at $250,000, an amount that is not unusual for a murder case in this community,” said Assistant District Attorney Mark Anthony.
Sheriff Donna Tompkins said it is not unusual for people suspected of violent crimes to get bond.
“We have approximately 61 in jail for murder today," Tompkins said. "28 of those have a bond assessed.”
For a $250,000 bond, the sheriff said it’s up to the bonding company, but usually someone can provide 10 percent of the bond amount or sign a deed of property over to the sheriff for the suspect to be released.
Officials said Ervin was out on bond, for another crime, when he allegedly killed Virgin.
“We have a court system that said you are innocent until proven guilty," Tompkins said. "We have a system where if you get out on bond, there is some security to either locating you or having you brought back in if you commit a crime.”
Anthony said it’s hard for the D.A’s office to provide an indictment within 90 days because of how much investigation goes into a murder case and that a premature indictment could be disastrous.
Anthony said Ervin is still in jail and he isn’t sure when this case could go to trial.