Wayman McMillian, a suspected member of a Columbus burglary ring, escaped police after allegedly crashing a stolen Nissan Maxima near North Lumpkin Road. He left behind five alleged cohorts — Laquinton Robinson, Ricky Henderson, Jacobee Matthews, Demon Moore and Emmanuel Williams — accused of burglarizing more than two dozen east and north Columbus homes, detectives said.
But eluding police fugitive search squads was cut short after McMillian accidentally shot himself in both legs, detectives say.
The 18-year-old faced his charges stoically in a wheelchair during a Thursday morning Recorder's Court hearing. He is charged with burglary, duty upon striking an unattended vehicle, fleeing or attempting allude a police office, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and theft by taking, along with sundry traffic charges.
Police first arrested McMillian's alleged burglary partners at the Veterans Parkway Econo Lodge on Nov. 6, after managers reported that two stolen vehicles were parked outside two of the rooms.
When officers arrived at the Econo Lodge, they reportedly found a man circling between the Econo Lodge and a nearby gas station in a Nissan Maxima stolen earlier that day.
The suspect spotted officers and sped off, leading a chase down Veterans Parkway and toward North Lumpkin Road. The driver allegedly ran several stop lights and drove recklessly, often exceeding the speed limit by 25 to 30 mph, detectives told the court.
After initially losing the car, police later found it crashed into a parked car on Elizabeth Circle. The driver was nowhere to be found.
At the time of the chase, police were uncertain about the driver's identity. But several witnesses attested that a man nicknamed "Money" was responsible for the stolen car. "Money" later matched a previous arrest record for McMillian.
During the course of the investigation, police were also able to match McMillian's fingerprints to a Nov. 4 burglary at an unspecified location, in which $2,100 worth of property were taken.
McMillian also matched prints from a David Court residence, where the Nissan Maxima was stolen on Nov. 6.
Detectives told the court that warrants were released for McMillian's arrest, and fugitive search squads scoured the streets for him. It was until Tuesday, when he checked himself into Midtown Medical Center for self-inflicted gunshot wounds under a false name, that police were able to take him into custody.
McMillian denied his involvement in the burglaries, but made no other statements.
Judge Michael Cielinski set McMillian's bond at $53,050.
Several other suspects have been named as suspects in the burglary ring, and one is in custody.
Alexander Streeter, 20, of Columbus, was arrested in Atlanta last month when he was shot by a Georgia State Patrol trooper after a chase involving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Columbus. Streeter was paralyzed in the shooting, Cox said, and is still in custody in Atlanta.
Police are still searching for Chris Gilliam, 25, Delmorris Boyd, 26, and Jakeith Robinson, 19. Anyone with information should contact Investigative Services at 706-653-3400.