Trial begins Tuesday in 2011 fatal shooting prosecutor says was caught on phone recording

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comApril 22, 2013 

Authorities expect jury selection to begin Tuesday in a 2011 fatal shooting prosecutors say was caught on an audio recording of a phone call from the county jail.

Calvin D. Denson and Dominique Reginal Lowe are charged in the Sept. 9, 2011, slaying of 38-year-old Julian Hernandez of Calhoun, Ga., a Fort Benning contract worker who since Aug. 1 of that year had been staying at the Plaza Motel, 3540 Victory Drive, where gunfire erupted about 10:30 p.m. that Friday in Room 223.

That gunfire and the argument preceding it were recorded because a Muscogee County jail inmate named Marcus Price happened to call the motel room to speak to a prostitute who was there, authorities said. The jail typically records such outgoing calls.

The recording captured the shooting, said Assistant District Attorney George Lipscomb.

Police have said Lowe went to Hernandez’s motel room that night to sell cocaine, but he brought crack cocaine instead of the powdered drug people in the room wanted. So Lowe left and came back with powdered cocaine, and stepped out of the room after being paid, detectives said.

When Lowe left, Denson came in with a gun and ordered everyone to lie on the floor. Hernandez was fatally shot in the left arm and right side of the chest as he fought with Denson, police said.

At the time of the homicide, Denson was 19 and Lowe was 24. Investigators said phone records showed Lowe and Denson had been in contact with each other before the shooting.

Their trial was to begin Monday before Superior Court Judge Tracy Moulton Jr., but it was delayed because no court reporter was available to record the testimony.

Court workers said jury selection was postponed until 9 a.m. Tuesday in Moulton’s 11th floor courtroom at the Columbus Government Center.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service