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Phone records implicate suspect in 2018 Columbus murder case

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 8:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A jury is now seated in the murder trial of an aspiring rapper killed in Columbus, but the judge is deciding on some motions first.

Jury selection took up much of day two for the trial surrounding the 2018 murder of aspiring rapper Branden Denson, also known an “Billion Dollar BD”.

Police say Denson was fatally shot while sitting in his jeep at a Pizza Hut. Five suspects have been arrested in connection to the case.

With the jury now selected, the judge preceded to hear two motions presented by the state and the defense. The first motion involved excluding a statement to police from the victim’s father, who has passed away.

“He doesn’t know at the time who’s involved or anything,” said Peter Hoffman, senior assistant district attorney. “They’re just asking him about the last thing his son said before he left.”

Hoffman says the victim’s father told police he saw his son packing a duffle bag with about 16 pounds of marijuana.

“The son told him he was going to sell this and that after this, he wasn’t going to be selling anymore and that he was going to the Pizza Hut,” he added.

At that point, Hoffman says the victim told his father he was on the way to meet KOK, a nickname Hoffman says is for Tommie Mullins, one of the suspects. However, Mullins’ attorney, Stacey Jackson, says those claims are not true.

“The phone towers show that Mr. Mullins’ phone was three to four miles away,” Jackson said.

Defense Attorney Michael Eddings, representing Jonathan Swift, agrees that the statement is inadmissible.

“His statement would be hearsay because his son’s not even here,” Eddings said. “So, you’re talking about a double hearsay situation.”

For that reason, along with an affidavit indicating a loss of the original phone records, the defense also requested phone records be excluded from the trial as well.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning with opening statements at 9 a.m.

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