Motel 6 triple murder suspect pleads not guilty

Suspect friends with one victim in triple homicide
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 10:43 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The suspect in a triple murder in Columbus pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

19-year-old Jerimiah Walker is accused of killing 54-year-old Michael Carter Sr., his wife, 50-year-old Tonya Carter, and their son, 19-year-old Michael Carter Jr at the Motel 6 on Victory Drive in Columbus on February 18th.

The couple’s 4-year-old grandson was also shot in the incident and has since been released from an Atlanta hospital.

According to Sergeant Donna Baker from the Columbus Police Department, Walker and 19-year-old Michael Carter Jr. were friends. Hotel cameras caught an altercation between the two moments before the shooting happened at the motel.

“While Michael Carter Jr. and Jerimiah Walker were engaged in an altercation, Michael Carter Sr. intervened in between at which point in time, Jerimiah Walker fired shots within that room, striking four of the five members of the Carter family,” testified Baker.

According to police, the two were friends and were hanging out the day of the shooting.

Walker had been on the run for almost two months before U.S. Marshalls arrested him in Memphis Tennessee on Thursday, April 13. According to police, once extradited back to Columbus, Walker declined to make a statement and claimed he was being set up. Police said they did not recover the weapon used in the crime.

Walker’s initial court hearing was scheduled on April 19th. He did not appear and sent a note to the judge requesting a private attorney. Today he informed the judge was unable to acquire one and was represented by a public defender.

The Carter family is advocating Walker receives the death penalty. Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney said right now it is too premature of a case to determine if that is on the table right now.

“I know we’re still waiting on autopsy reports, we’re still waiting on the ballistic evidence to be tested. This is just a probable cause hearing,” said Jackson. “That’s something that myself or Chief Assistant Don Kelly would need to talk to the police department about and discuss with the family but it’s way too early to have that conversation or make any comment on that.”

The case now moves to Superior Court. Walker is being held in the Muscogee County Jail without bond.

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