COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus woman facing murder charges for the fatal shooting at Peachtree Mall on Easter weekend made her first court appearance on Friday.
Columbus Police detectives alleged that Tekoa Young, her brother Xzavien Jones, and Terell McFarland are responsible for taking the life of Anthony Meredith, 24, on March 26 near the food court area of the mall.
"They're trying to claim she was at the scene before the shooting and I don't think that's evidence of murder," says Young's defense attorney Mark Shelnutt.
Detectives told the judge during Young's court hearing on Friday that they believe Meredith's murder was an act of retaliation.
Detectives said that a November 2015 murder victim named Christopher Twitty is the main connection in this case. Twitty was the father of Young's children and Meredith, the Peachtree Mall victim, was a suspect in Twitty's death investigation.
"Takoa Young is a mother, she's gainfully employed, she's been doing the right thing. She's just not a murderer - she's innocent," says Shelnutt.
The Muscogee County Recorder's Court Judge denied Shelnutt's motion to dismiss the charges on a lack of evidence.
"She didn't shoot him, she didn't have anything to do with it. She didn't have a weapon and there is no evidence to prove she had anything
to do with planning this," Shelnutt says.
CPD detectives testified Young denied ever being inside the mall on the day of the shooting but that video evidence proves otherwise.
According to detectives, Young, who is employed at a Columbus Metro PCS, clocked out of work just before the shooting occurred. Police said that surveillance footage proves she was inside of the mall watching as the victim was shot nearly a dozen times.
Less than 10 minutes later, police said Young was seen again on surveillance footage at a nearby department store that she used as an alibi.
Young's case was bound over to Superior Court. Shelnutt says he plans to file a motion for a bond hearing sometime next week.
McFarland, the third suspect in this case has not been apprehended and is considered armed and dangerous.