Columbus police have charged two teens with gunning down a Benning Hills resident as they robbed him Jan. 27 in his home at 34 Lanier Drive.
One of the suspects, 19-year-old Javon Dante Rice, lives on Eddy Drive, just blocks away from the home of victim Benney Pulley Jr., said police Lt. John McMichael. Investigators believe Rice and the second suspect, Malcom Deeandre White, 18, knew Pulley, McMichael said.
McMichael said police found signs a struggle had occurred in Pulley’s home before the shooting. The lieutenant declined to say whether Pulley invited them in or they invaded his home.
Police were summoned at 4:50 p.m. that Sunday to investigate reports that neighbors heard gunshots. They found Pulley, 33, lying on his living room floor. His television set was still on, they said.
Though investigators believe the suspects fled on foot, tracking dogs were unable to pick up a trail that day, McMichael said.
He said each suspect is charged with murder, armed robbery and using a firearm to commit a crime. Jewelry, cash and a cellphone were taken from Pulley’s home, he said.
Detectives believe only one gun was used to shoot Pulley five times, he said.
The two teenagers were arrested about 10 p.m. Monday at the Columbus Public Safety Center. They are to have a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder’s Court at 9 a.m. today.
Police Sgt. Frank Massa said the teens were developed as persons of interest in the investigation and further information led to their arrest.
Arrest reports listed Rice as unemployed, and White as a laborer. White had an Armour Road address.