The murder suspect in the November shooting on Curry Street allegedly identified himself as his twin brother Sept. 5 during a traffic stop where was accused of striking a Columbus police officer with a car, authorities said.
Jamar Pipkin, 23, pleaded not guilty in Columbus Recorder's Court Tuesday morning to one count each of identity fraud, obstruction, interference with government property, fleeing or attempting to elude, reckless driving, no proof of insurance, false name, failure to exhibit a license and two counts of failure to maintain lane. He was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail after being denied bonds on the obstruction charge.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus police officer Christian Gibney said he was near the Public Safety Building around 7:45 a.m. Sept. 5 when he spotted a silver Nissan Altima heading east on 10th Street at a high rate of speed. The driver, who was later identified as Pipkin, allegedly changed lanes twice without signaling.
Gibney conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle near the railroad tracks east of Recorder's Court. He asked for the driver's license and registration, but Pipkin allegedly didn't provide either.
The officer said he then asked the driver for his name and date of birth. He said Pipkin gave the correct date of birth, but gave the first name "Jamal."
Gibney checked with the Georgia Crime Information Center to see if the driver was wanted on any arrest warrants. He couldn’t find a "Jamal Pipkin" in the system, but he did come across the name "Jamar Pipkin."
Gibney said he asked the driver for his name a second time, and Pipkin continued to give the name "Jamal Pipkin." The officer asked him to step out of the car, but he allegedly sped away from the scene instead.
"I was standing at the driver's door when he fled the scene," Gibney testified. "When he turned the wheel to the left, the car came over and hit me as he was fleeing the scene."
The officer said he rolled on the ground several times, but he wasn't seriously injured. His gun holster was scratched and his pants were torn.
Gibney said he was trying to get back on his feet when he saw the driver travel east on 10th Street and heard toward 10th Avenue.
The officer said he investigated further and learned that Pipkin had a brother named "Jamal Pipkin." He then issued additional warrants for Jamar Pipkin.
Pipkin was still wanted when 21-year-old Jahwon Armstead was left at a Columbus Midtown Medical Center around 10 p.m. Nov. 28 with multiple gunshot wounds. Armstead was pronounced dead about 19 minutes later, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.
Further investigation indicated that Armstead was rushed to the emergency room in a private vehicle after he was shot in the 4200 block of Curry Street. No additional details about the incident have been released.
Officials sent out a release on Jan. 19 announcing that they issued a murder warrant for Jamar Pipkin in connection with the shooting. He was located Monday and taken into custody.
When questioned about the traffic stop, Jamar Pipkin allegedly apologized for the incident. Officers said he also stated that he gave his brother's name and fled the stop to avoid going to jail.