Suspect pleads not guilty to Mahan Dr. murder

Parkman will have a Recorder’s Court hearing on Tuesday, June 1 at 9 a.m.
Parkman will have a Recorder’s Court hearing on Tuesday, June 1 at 9 a.m.
Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus murder suspect pled not guilty to the charge of the murder of Cortez Averette.

17-year-old Zephaniah Parkman appeared in Recorder’s Court Tuesday morning, where he pleaded not guilty for the murder of 24-year-old Cortez Averette.

On April 17, Columbus police responded to the 2200 block of Mahan Dr. in regards to a stabbing where they found Averette lying near the front door of a residence unresponsive suffering from multiple stab wounds. Averette was transported to Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown, where he later died from his injuries.

Parkman’s grandmother testified that Parkman and Averette were relatives. She also testified in the interview having witnessed the entire incident that led to Averette’s death, describing the sequences of events that led up to the stabbing.

The grandmother stated that Parkman came to the residence unannounced. Averette later arrived and found Parkman in the residence. The family says Averette was attempting to protect his family from Parkman. The grandmother stated in her interview that Parkman had been involved in several instances at the residence, including theft, to the point where the suspect was no longer welcome at the home.

The family says there were two altercations on the day Averette was murdered. According to Parkman’s grandmother, after the second altercation, Parkman went to the kitchen in the residence to retrieve a knife and then confronted the victim, fatally stabbing him multiple times. After stabbing Averette, Parkman dropped the knife and fled the residence.

The case was bound over to Superior Court with bonds to be set by the court.

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