Columbus murder suspect pleads not guilty at initial court appearance

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 11:39 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus murder suspect pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance Thursday morning.

30-year-old Reuben Hensley was arrested Monday by the United States Marshals Service in DeKalb County, Georgia. Hensley was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant issued by the Columbus Police Department. That warrant was issued for the murder of 37-year-old Marjester Thornton which happened on September 25.

CPD’s Special Operations Unit responded to DeKalb County and transported Hensley to Columbus to stand trial.

The late-September shooting happened on Urban Avenue.

Investigators said witnesses of the shooting reportedly saw the red Ford Mustang in the area and heard gunshots after seeing the car drive past the residence of the victim, but did not actually see the shots come from the vehicle.

Another witness claimed to be on the phone with Hensley close to the time of the shooting, according to investigators. Because of this testimony, authorities say they were able to place the cell phone of Hensley in the area of during the time of the shooting.

A short while after the homicide of Thornton, investigators were called to the scene of a vehicle fire at the home of Reuben Hensley. Arson investigators say the vehicle allegedly belonging to Hensley was destroyed by the fire directly after the homicide of Thornton took place.

Following an investigation of the vehicle fire, investigators say they determined that the fire was intentionally set after finding traces of gasoline near the glove compartment of the vehicle and a lighter a few feet away from the vehicle. This led investigators to determine that arson and tampering with evidence should be added to Hensley’s murder charge.

He’s being held in the Muscogee County Jail on a $10,000 bond. The case was bound over to Superior Court.

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