Columbus police confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the third murder suspect in the Oct. 17 shooting that left a cab driver dead is in custody in Alabama.
Devin Trashawn Durden, 22, was arrested in 2016 on unrelated charges and booked into an Alabama jail. He will be extradited to Columbus at a later date to face the murder charge, Lt. Greg Touchberry said.
“As soon as Alabama gets through with him, they are going to ship him back to Columbus,” Touchberry said.
Officials confirmed Durden’s arrest less than 24 hours after 21-year-old Jasmine Thomas was apprehended on the same charges. Dontavis Paige Screws, 21, was taken into custody on the same charges two days after the shooting of 50-year-old Dewayne Chronister.
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Columbus Police Sgt. Lance Deaton said Chronister was supposed to be off work on Oct. 17, but the cab company called him early that morning to pick up two individuals at the Mystic Food Mart at 701 Brown Ave.
Officials said it was a woman who called to ask that two individuals be picked up at the store and driven to an Alabama location.
When Chronister arrived, Screws and Durden approached the van and told him they were the people who called him to the food mart, police said. They said they wanted to go to the Parkwood Mobile Home Park at 527 Farr Road.
The cab driver relayed that information to the company dispatch before taking the men to the mobile home park. They directed him to drop them off at a dark and secluded cul-de-sac area behind the residential area, according to police.
He parked directly in front of Screws’ former home, Deaton said.
“They approached the driver’s side when the window was down, and a shot is fired. Mr. Chronister was struck,” said Deaton, who stated that Screws identified Durden as the shooter.
Authorities have yet to clarify the exact time of the shooting but stated that it happened between 4 and 5:30 a.m. The men stole the victim’s cellphone and wallet and headed to Screws’ home at 2315 Forsyth St., Deaton said.
Shawn Jackson, who lives at Parkwood Mobile Home Park, said he was on his way to work around 5:30 a.m. when he noticed the cab parked behind his vehicle. He went to check on him and noticed he had been shot in the head.
“When we got up and we were getting in the car, he didn’t move the van,” said Jackson, who reported the shooting to police. “When we went to the window to see why he didn’t move the van, he was slumped over in the seat.”
Chronister, 50, was transported to Columbus Midtown Medical Center, where officials said he was pronounced dead at 11:05 a.m.
Police obtained phone records indicating the robbery was a setup.
Detectives said Durden and Thomas were at another location when they called another cab company to pick them up from the food mart. The driver with that company arrived at the store before the suspects did, so he left without picking them up.
They then called the Warrior Cab Company for service, police said.