A man accused in the Wednesday death of a LaGrange woman was traveling 60-70 mph when his vehicle slammed into the compact car the woman was driving on Talbotton Road at Veterans Parkway, a police officer testified Friday during a Recorder’s Court hearing.
Courdia Bellamy, 28, of Columbus faces a dozen charges in the death of Jennifer Sisk, 43, after she died of injuries sustained in the 7:17 p.m. crash that involved five vehicles. Bellamy was charged with one count of felony murder, homicide by vehicle, four counts of a red light violation, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, no proof of insurance, hit-and-run, failure to maintain lane and possession of a drug related object. Judge Mary Buckner set bonds on the lesser charges but ordered Bellamy held without bond on the murder and homicide charges. All charges were bound over to Muscogee Superior Court.
Wearing a white bandage on his injured head and seated in a wheelchair, Bellamy was represented by public defender Mike Bodiford. He was taken into custody about 8:15 p.m. at Columbus Body Works after fleeing on foot from the crash.
Police Sgt. John Crump was traveling south on Fifth Avenue when he noticed a 1995 Toyota Camry traveling west on 13th Street and turned north on Veterans Parkway. The driver of the vehicle cut across three traffic lanes of traffic, ran at least four red lights and reached speeds of 60 to 70 mph before making the turn eastbound at Talbotton Road.
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Crump said he kept his eyes on the lone driver as he crashed into the driver’s door of Sisk’s westbound car on Talbotton Road and fled on foot. “He is the only one who got out of the car,” the officer told the court.
Witnesses said Sisk and Bellamy’s vehicles spun around after the impact. The victim’s vehicle then struck the left side of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup. The impact to Sisk’s car dislodged her headlight before it struck the front fender of a Toyota Rav4.
Kristen Moss, 22, and her passenger, Russell Spears, 33, were thankful to survive the crash. Stopped southbound in a 2015 Kia Forte in the left turn lane of Veterans Parkway at Talbotton Road, Moss said she was concerned about the woman who was struck and emergency personnel getting to the scene.
“Seeing somebody injured, it was traumatic,” she said outside the courtroom. “ I was trying to figure out how to help her. I immediately started praying that they would get here quickly. Obviously, it didn’t end very well.”
Looking back, Spears said they shouldn’t have survived but escaped without any injuries. “We are very blessed and thankful,” he said.
To keep the suspect in the area, Crump said he went to the auto body shop and secured the back of the business.
Cpl. Keith Gibson said the suspect attempted to bury his bloody t-shirt before covering himself in leaves inside the fence. He had injuries to his head and face along with blood on his torso. He also had a gash in his leg. He was treated at Midtown Medical Center before he was taken to the Muscogee County Jail.
During the arrest of Bellamy, Gibson said the suspect uttered that he wasn’t driving the car. He claimed another man was the driver.
In an interview with officer Dallas Willis, the suspect said he was picked up at Warren Williams Homes and the driver said something was wrong with the vehicle’s brakes. At 13th Street and Veterans Parkway, he said they attempted to pull over but couldn’t stop.