A 34-year-old Columbus apparently was shot and killed at a location on Cusseta Road before he was found dead in the trunk of a burning car, according to a police report.
Michael Fleming, 34, was found dead around 5:37 a.m. July 10 in the trunk of a burning 2006 Pontiac G6 at Harbison Drive and Head Street but he was fatally shot a mile and half away at 2613 Cusseta Road. The location was identified after Alexander Jackson, 56, was arrested Aug. 3 and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the death of Fleming.
The Muscogee County Coroner’s Office identified Fleming Monday after his DNA was matched to his parents. The coroner said Fleming died of two gunshots, one to the head and another to his hip.
During a Recorder’s Court hearings this week, police said Jackson is accused of cleaning up blood evidence at the scene. He pleaded not guilty to the charge before he was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail on a $5,000 bond.
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Police said Fleming died sometime between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on July 10. A detective has said Jackson was instructed to get rid of the blood and the biological evidence that was left at the scene. An accelerant was poured on the material to dispose of it by fire.
In addition to Jackson, three men are charged with hijacking the Pontiac from a woman on July 9 at 2936 North Lumpkin Road. They were identified as Darious Jamal Robinson, 18, Marquis Lamar Johnson, 20, and Fredret Shamar Culliver, 17.
Johnson is accused of pointing a gun at the woman at Big Cat Fuels gas station and demanding the car during the carjacking, police said. One suspect grabbed the keys and wallet from the ground after the victim threw down the items and a cellphone. The three men entered the woman’s Pontiac and left, leaving behind the cellphone, police said.
The car was driven to a Circle K at 2102 Wynnton Road and another in Alabama on July 9 . Both businesses were robbed.
The investigation into the murder case continues.