A 19-year-old was spotted in the vehicle at the scene of the Jan. 25 home invasion on South Lumpkin Road, according to testimony Wednesday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Jessie Harper of Columbus, who was identified as the passenger, pleaded not guilty to home invasion. He was ordered held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail and the case was bound over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Officer Jerry Yarbrough said he was called to a home in the 2500 block of South Lumpkin Road around 1:45 p.m. Jan. 25 to investigate an armed robbery.
The victim told police on the scene that he was working on the car moments before the incident. He said he was headed into his home to get something when he noticed a brown Dodge Challenger sitting in front of his home.
He didn’t think much about it and continued to walk in his residence, police said.
“While he was inside, he stated that he turned around and saw men who had guns and pointed them at him,” Yarbrough told Judge Julius Hunter. “They demanded him to give them his phone and all his belongings.”
The men left with the victim’s $200 cellphone, according to an arrest report.
The victim identified one of the men as Harper, an individual whose home he said he visited several times in the past. He directed police to a residence in the 400 block of Bernard Drive where he believed the suspect could be found.
Officials located the brown Dodge Challenger in that location, but the driver backed out of the driveway and fled at a high rate of speed, Yarbrough testified.
“Police attempted to pursue but had to break it off because the large flow of traffic,” Yarbrough said.
Authorities spoke to a resident in the home where the Challenger fled from police, Harper’s mother. She told police that Harper was a passenger in the vehicle.
A warrant was then issued for Harper, who was taken into custody at 12 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of Morgan Drive.
Police are stills searching for additional suspects. No other warrants have been issued in the case, Yarbrough confirmed Wednesday morning.