Jarrod Fleming, the 17-year-old arrested over the weekend in connection with the fatal shooting of a Columbus man, pleaded not guilty to murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime at his Recorder's Court hearing this morning.
Columbus Police Detective Lance Deaton testified that Fleming lied twice to authorities regarding how 22-year-old James Edwards Evans was shot.
Initially, the teen said he and Evans were horsing around with a pair of pistols at the victim's 4656 Lamore Street apartment early Saturday morning when Fleming accidentally pulled the trigger on a .45 caliber.
Deaton testified that Fleming's version of the story couldn't have been correct considering the evidence at the scene and the trajectory of the bullet, which entered Evans through his right shoulder, tore across his chest and exited through his left shoulder.
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Fleming later offered a different explanation, which police also discarded based on physical evidence at the scene.
The only other person inside the apartment at the time of the shooting told investigators Fleming asked him to remove the guns from the apartment for him so he could flee the scene. This person did not directly witness the shooting, Deaton said.
Investigators later interviewed members of Fleming's family who stated the teen told them he and Evans were both playing around with guns and that the shooting was an accident. In addition, Evans' brother told investigators that he spoke to Evans as the victim was leaving the apartment to go to the hospital. The brother said Evans told him that Fleming had shot him and that the teen, "plays too much."
Authorities arrested Fleming at his sister's house. He was hiding in a closet, Deaton said. By this time Evans had died while undergoing surgery at The Medical Center. His body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.
Fleming was ordered to be held without bond and his case was bound over to Superior Court.