A 23-year-old who authorities said witnessed Tuesday morning’s deadly 41st Street shooting was charged after allegedly lying about the incident, according to testimony Friday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Lorena Ellen Coleman pleaded not guilty to giving false statements about the shooting of 19-year-old Dieondre Murphy. She was booked into the Muscogee County Jail under a $2,000 bond.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus police were called to the 1200 block of 41st Street around 1:57 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a shooting. The victim was transported to Columbus Midtown Medical Center, where Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan pronounced him dead at 4:04 a.m.
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Cpl. Kelly Phillips said witnesses indicated that Coleman was in the bedroom where the shots were fired. She initially told detectives that she was in her room alone when she heard gunfire and then ran to the front room, according to police.
Authorities said Coleman later changed her statement and said that others may have been in her bedroom with her when shots rang out in another room. She allegedly changed her statement a third time and reported that shots were fired in her bedroom, but she wasn’t in there at the time.
Columbus Public Defender Michael Bodiford, who represented Coleman, asked police to clarify his client’s role in the shooting. Police then stated that they believe she is a witness.
Phillips added that threats have been made against witnesses in this case, and Coleman said she was in fear for her life. No one else has been arrested in connection with the homicide as of Friday morning.