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Stepfather’s murder trial in 2-year-old’s death delayed

Randall Keller
Randall Keller

The murder trial of a 31-year-old Columbus man accused of causing his toddler stepson a fatal 2013 brain injury has been delayed.

Randall Guy Keller was to go on trial Monday in the death of 2-year-old William Powell, but the case was delayed until Nov. 21 because defense attorney Cynthia Lain wasn’t ready, authorities said.

Keller remains in the Muscogee County Jail under a total bond of $363,000.

He also is charged with first-degree child cruelty for allegedly bashing Powell against an object, according to his indictment. His other charges include second-degree burglary, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and two counts of possessing drug-related objects. Those are unrelated to the child’s death.

Emergency medical workers found Powell unconscious when they were called to Keller’s 4433 Lon Drive home around 4:30 a.m. on June 7, 2013, police said. Medics rushed the boy to Midtown Medical Center, where physicians had him transferred to Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta. The child died there June 9 at 9:15 a.m., authorities said.

Police charged the stepfather with murder on July 25, according to newspaper reports, but he was arrested on the unrelated charges soon after Powell died.

A neighbor told police she saw Keller break into her 2001 Ford Explorer to steal check stubs around 2 a.m. June 7, 2013 — the same night Powell was fatally injured. Officers serving a search warrant at Keller’s home the next day reported finding about a half-ounce of marijuana, a glass pipe, a digital scale and a marijuana grinder inside. He was charged June 10 with the drug and burglary offenses.