Columbus police rule Liberty Ave. death investigation as homicide

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 4:44 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Family members grieve as they are told their brother was shot and found dead in an open field near railroad tracks off Cusseta Road and Liberty Avenue.

According to Muscogee County’s Coroner, they identified the body as 44-year-old Marcus Spellers. People who live on the street say he often walked in the neighborhood and worked on yards in exchange for money.

News Leader 9 was there as a woman who said she was the victim’s sister was told by investigators of his death. She said off camera that her brother chose a life of homelessness which led to drug use. This is another murder added to the list of homicides happening in 2022.

“We’re looking at least 30 less murders than we had last year,” says Deputy Chief Roderick Graham, and in the latest case, Columbus police are still investigating what happened to Spellers.

“So once a case is investigated, it’s determined it is murder as opposed to an accident, or manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter that’s when we determine whether or not it’s a murder,” says Graham.

Murders impact families and the city as a whole. But police say there still needs to be crime prevention programs to see the numbers keep falling. “The department’s initiative, enough is enough, so that’s when we actually see a reduction in crime by city leaders,” says Graham.

They also say it takes everyone to bring any case to a close. Their advice is if you see something, say something.

“By the public doing that, it does help us in the reduction of crime,” says Graham.