Attorney speaks on 17-year-old Columbus murder suspect’s preliminary hearing

Attorney speaks on 17-year-old Columbus murder suspect’s preliminary hearing

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A suspect charged with murder at Warren Williams Homes in Columbus appeared in court Wednesday morning where detectives presented the facts for the first time.

Police said a fist fight turned deadly when one person pulled a gun after being punched. Testimony revealed the victim wasn’t originally involved. Police report he intervened trying to help a woman who was being jumped.

January 17 was a deadly night for Columbus with three separate murders. The first happened at Warren Williams apartments where police said 17-year-old Derrick Jones shot and killed 50-yea- old Dorian Gibson.

“It seems like it would lend to a self defense argument," defense attorney William Kendrick said.

Here’s what police testimony revealed: Gibson was reportedly visiting his niece when he saw five or six people jumping a close female friend. Witnesses told police Gibson threatened the group in an attempt to stop the fight, then he allegedly punched Jones.

“All I’m saying is, the law allows you not to get your behind whooped," Kendrick said. "The law allows you to avoid serious bodily injury. It gives you means that you can protect yourself.”

Two conflicting versions of what happened next were presented in court. In the first, Jones is alleged to have immediately pulled out a gun and shot Gibson. In an alternate version of events, Jones left the scene to retrieve a gun and returned to shoot Gibson.

“The shot probably took place right after the punch. That’s what the trajectory information seems to support as opposed to going and coming back," Kendrick said.

One thing is clear to police, witnesses said Jones did fire the fatal shots. They even picked Jones out of a photo lineup.

“If you have a firearm, you’re just going to lay on the ground and be pummeled to death or are you going to try to get home to you family?" Kendrick asked. "I think I know the answer.”

Jones is pleading not guilty and is being held without bond as his case heads to superior court. Kendrick said it will probably be around two years before this case is adjudicated.

One thing to clear up is the fact that police stood in what appeared to be a stand-off for several hours after the shooting.

Kendrick said his client was not inside the apartment during that time. Jones turned himself in February 20.

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