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How detectives convinced a 2018 Columbus murder suspect to testify

An interview reveals Eric Spencer was initially hesitant to testify during the trial for the murder of local rapper Branden Denson. This comes amid arguments from the defense that Spencer had motive to lie on the stand.
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We have new details in the trial for the 2018 murder of a Columbus rapper featured in XXL magazine.

An interview shown to the jury revealed the state’s star witness was initially scared to testify.

All five suspects arrested in connection to the 2018 murder of Columbus rapper Branden Denson appeared in court once again.

Police said Denson was killed in a Pizza Hut parking lot on Buena Vista Road.

“I don’t know where I was,” said Spencer to detectives during an interview from May 2018.

Detectives responded, “So you don’t remember where you were the night that “BD” was killed?”

The day began with the defense continuing cross-examination.

Much of that involved questions about Spencer’s criminal background, such as his ties to a shooting on Alta Vista Drive the same month Denson was killed.

“Eric Spencer, the defendant, was a primary suspect in both cases,” said Homicide Detective Stuart Carter.

Spencer testified that any charges he’s facing in connection to that crime are still pending. However, he also made it clear while he did take a plea deal for this case, he’s not seeking a deal for that crime.

After Spencer was dismissed, Carter was the next witness to take the stand.

Shortly after, the jury was shown an interview which revealed how the detective and another officer convinced Spencer to testify.

“You’re going to either be on the A-team, which is the police department, or you’re going to be on this team, the B team,” said Stuart during the interview with Spencer and another officer.

Detectives told Spencer they knew his girlfriend rented both getaway cars for the Pizza Hut murder and the Alta Vista murder.

“You are still in a position now where you can control some of your destiny,” said Carter.

They said she could face charges. A father of two, Spencer was met with no choice.

“You go to prison, life without parole, you ain’t seeing that baby grow up,” said Carter.

Spencer took the option to testify, although hesitant to do so.

Spencer also believed Tommie Mullins planned the murder because customers were leaving him and getting their drugs from Denson instead.

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