A 15-year-old girl returned drunk and defiant to her grandmother's Lamore Drive home Monday with a man later charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a Columbus Police report.
Brandon Wells, 19, who said he did not provide alcohol to the teenage girl, is additionally charged with theft by shoplifting. That charge was not discussed during Tuesday's Recorder's Court hearing.
The teen's grandmother told police the girl came home intoxicated with a friend at about 8 p.m. Sunday. The two were supposed to be attending a church scavenger hunt at an undisclosed house of worship.
When the grandmother smelled liquor on the teen's breath, she attempted to ground her. Instead of going to her room, the teen ran out of the house, yelling that Wells had her cell phone. The grandmother reported the girl was missing at about 11 p.m. Sunday.
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Wells admits to spending time with the girl, but said he implored her to go home when she met with him after leaving her grandmother's house.
"She kept saying I had her cell phone," Wells said. "I didn't have her cell phone, but she thought she dropped it in my yard. I helped her look for it."
That supposed phone search stretched on for about eight hours, until Wells returned with the girl at about 5:45 a.m. As they pulled up, officers were waiting to take Wells into custody.
During his hearing, Judge Michael Joyner set Wells' bond at $250. His case will be forwarded to Muscogee County State Court.
An earlier version of this report stated Wells' case will be forwarded to Superior Court. It will be forwarded to State Court.