Takisha Martina Lee, one of two people charged in Friday's fatal shooting, called authorities to her residence nearly two hours before the murder to report that 34-year-old Decartes Reginald Baldwin assaulted her, according to a Columbus official.
Lee, 28, and Montrell Lamont Foxworth, 30, pleaded not guilty to murder and possession of a firearm during the commission charges stemming from Baldwin's death Wednesday in Recorder's Court. Defense attorney Stacey Jackson represented Lee and defense attorney Shevon Thomas represented Foxworth.
The suspects, who have a child together, were ordered held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail. The defendants' child was placed in a family member's custody, Columbus Police Detective Joseph Hart said.
At about 9:47 p.m. Friday, authorities were called to Lee's apartment at 1990 Cusseta Road to investigate a domestic call at that location. When they arrived, Lee reported that Baldwin of Columbus pushed her and fled the scene.
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With police still on the scene, Foxworth appeared at the residence traveling in a black two-door Chevrolet Cobalt. Police noticed that Foxworth was in possession of a handgun and confirmed that he was legally permitted to carry the weapon, Hart said.
Police left the scene without making any arrests.
At approximately 11:17 p.m., officials were called to intersection of North Lumpkin and Cusseta roads to check on a shots fired call and found Baldwin suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to Midtown Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m., Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.
Police retrieved an unspecified amount of 9 mm caliber shell casings found in and around the vehicle, according to the detective.
Hart said officials obtained surveillance footage that shows Baldwin walking west on North Lumpkin and toward the front of the Cusseta Package Store at 288 23rd Ave. A black two-door Chevrolet Cobalt was spotted traveling to the same area.
The two occupants in the Chevrolet Cobalt and Baldwin are seen having "some type of exchange" before "several muzzle flashes are visible from the passenger side of the vehicle,"Hart said.
Police said the driver exits the vehicle and pursues the victim as he runs toward the front of the business. The driver eventually catches up to Baldwin and hovers over the fallen man, Hart testified. There is "some type of exchange" between the two before the driver flees the scene on foot and the Chevrolet Cobalt travels east on North Lumpkin Road, the detective said.
Police suspect that both Foxworth and Lee were the two individuals in the vehicle, but they have not determined who was the driver or passenger.
Using the information gathered at the scene of the domestic call, authorities located the suspects at Foxworth's home and took them into custody. Officials obtained a search warrants for the residence and found a Springfield 9 mm handgun under Foxworth's bed, Hart said.
Foxworth declined to speak to police without an attorney present, but Lee willingly provide a statement in which she identified Foxworth as the shooter, according to the detective's testimony.
Lee allegedly told officials that she and Foxworth went looking for Baldwin, so they could return some money they owed him. She reportedly said Baldwin got upset about the money and struck her with a bottle.
Lee allegedly said Foxworth shot at Baldwin through the passenger window, and both returned back to their residence without knowing for certain if the man was wounded.
Hart told the court that he did not know of any evidence that suggest Lee was hit with a bottle. She didn't have any visible injuries or receive medical treatment following the alleged assault, police said.
The defendants didn't testify in Recorder's Court.
The shooting death is Columbus' fifth homicide this year and the second this month.
Reno Fannin, 36, died June 6 after he was shot near the intersection of Cusseta and North Lumpkin roads.
The number of homicides is lower than last year's total after six months. Columbus had 11 reported homicides after six months last year.
Staff writer Ben Wright contributed to this report.