A Columbus Recorder’s Court judge denied bond Wednesday morning for a man accused of killing another man with a cinder block blow to the head.
Bobby L. Guthrie, 37, faces murder charges in the death of Kenneth Heath last week when the two men were fighting over a woman. Judge Michael Cielinski sent the case to Superior Court, where a bond could be set. Guthrie remains in the Muscogee County Jail.
Details of the fight came out during the 45-minute hearing in which Columbus Police Detective Joby Duncan laid out the investigation.
The victim’s brother, Jackie Heath, and his cousin, Benny Heath, both testified.
Guthrie, in his jail uniform and slippers, did not speak.
There was heavy security as family members from both sides filled the courtroom adjacent to the jail.
“This had been an ongoing feud for several years,” Duncan said.
Kenneth Heath was involved with Guthrie’s ex-wife, Melinda Herring, and was at her house on Fourth Avenue Thursday afternoon when the fight that led to his death occurred, according to police. At some point, Guthrie had been involved with Heath’s ex-wife, according to testimony.
Guthrie told police he was surrounded by Kenneth Heath and three others when he fought back with the cinder block.
Jackie Heath, who came to the house when called by his brother, said that did not happen.
“I tried to talk to him (Guthrie) and he punched me in the mouth,” Jackie Heath said.
Guthrie then broke a cinder block in half and ran toward Jackie Heath and Kenneth Heath, the police detective testified.
“According to Jackie Heath, it happened so fast all his brother had time to do was turn his head to keep from being hit in the face,” Duncan said.
Witnesses gave Duncan conflicting accounts of whether the piece of cinder block was in Guthrie’s hand when it struck Kenneth Heath or whether he threw it.
At the time of the altercation, Kenneth Heath had a shovel. At some point he swung the shovel at Guthrie, who had leg injuries consistent with being hit by a shovel, Duncan said. Jackie Heath said his brother never hit Guthrie with the shovel.
Kenneth Heath was taken to The Medical Center, where he died Saturday afternoon.
Guthrie was arrested Friday on an aggravated assault charge. He also was charged with murder, simple battery and probation violation after Kenneth Heath died.