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List of 2019 Columbus homicides

These are Columbus’ homicides so far for 2019, according to the Muscogee County Coroner’s count.

1) Jan. 1: Alfonzo Walker Sr., 51.

Police allege Walker’s 34-year-old son Antonio Alphonso Evans shot him on a second-floor landing at Hannah Heights Apartments, 909 Farr Road, around 5 a.m. New Year’s Day. Walker died later at the hospital. Witnesses said Walker and his son had been out to a nightclub before returning to an apartment, where an argument erupted. A relative said Walker was just getting reunited with his family after serving nine years in prison.

2) Jan. 26: Henderson Thomas Darrisaw, 29.

Police were called around 11 p.m. to the 2000 block of Reese Road, where they found Darrisaw repeatedly had been shot outside a birthday party. Authorities said he got into a fight after a card game. Darrisaw died later at the hospital. About 30 people were at the party, but most of the witnesses fled when officers arrived, and others claiming to be Darrisaw’s friends refused to cooperate with police, investigators said.

3) Feb. 1: Travis McDaniel, 27.

Police found McDaniel dead when they were summoned at 9:06 p.m. to 2315 10th St., where he had been visiting a neighbor’s home. Detectives said Edward Lominac, the father of the woman who lived there, had shot McDaniel in the head and moved the body and gun to fake a suicide. They found McDaniel lying across a threshold with his legs in a bedroom and upper body in the hall, and drag marks from a pool of blood at a chair by a bullet-damaged keyboard in the room, officers said. The father later told officers McDaniel was sitting in the chair in the bedroom and handing the gun to him when it fired, police said.

4) Feb. 8: John E. Wells Jr., 55.

The son of former District 2 Muscogee County school board member John Wells was found shot to death at Castlegate Windsor Park Apartments, 3700 Bridgewater Road, after a domestic dispute that wounded Alstin Martin, 25, the son of Wells’ girlfriend, police said. Officers were called to the apartments around midnight to investigate reports of gunfire. Wells was pronounced dead there at 2:25 a.m. Martin was taken to Piedmont Columbus Regional, and recovered from his wounds. Earlier that night, Wells’ girlfriend had left the apartment in only her bathrobe after a dispute, and called her son to come get her, police said. When she went back into the residence to get her belongings, a second altercation erupted, and the son heard his mother screaming, authorities said. Armed with a handgun, Martin banged on the door, and then kicked it in when no one responded. Both he and Wells fired at each other, said investigators, who decided to pursue no charges against Martin.

5) Feb. 15: Ronnie Brooks Jr., 24.

Brooks was pronounced dead at 1:40 p.m. Feb. 15 in the intensive care unit at Piedmont Columbus Regional, where he was dropped off around 4 p.m. Feb. 8. He died of complications from a gunshot wound to the neck, which left him on life support, authorities said. Police said an acquaintance reported Brooks was shot on Decatur Court, but detectives doubted that account, suspecting he was shot on Parkchester Drive. Police on Feb. 25 charged Kevon Carter, 26, with murder in Brooks’ death, and on April 3 arrested a second suspect, Quardarrius Strong, 25, who’s also charged with murder, authorities said.

6) Feb. 20: John Anthony Allport, 55.

Allport was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound at 4 p.m. at 2950 Tip Top Drive, where he was shot in the chest during a domestic dispute as he entered the house through a back window, authorities said. Police charged Allport’s live-in girlfriend, Vickie Perez, 50, with murder involving family violence.

7) Feb. 24: Garet Davis McFarland, 53.

McFarland was found mortally wounded on 25th Street near Hamilton Road, where police were called to a shooting at 12:45 a.m. McFarland was taken by ambulance to Piedmont Columbus Regional, where he was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m.

8) March 24: Phillip Whitaker, 20.

Police called at 1:47 a.m. to Park Place Apartments, 1831 Wynnton Road, found Whitaker fatally shot in the passenger seat of a pickup truck in the parking lot. Investigators determined he was shot during an attempted robbery at Summerwood Apartments, 3938 University Ave. Charged in the death were Sharae Dominique Threadgill, 21, and an 18 year old male, Jalen Benton, 18, both arrested in Warren County, Miss., police said.

9) April 23: Roy Wilborn, 60.

Authorities said Wilborn was shot multiple times near Rigdon Road and Illges Road, where police were called at 11:11 p.m. He was pronounced dead at Piedmont Columbus Regional at 5:08 a.m. On April 25, police charged Tellious Brown with murder in Wilborn’s death. Detectives later said Brown, 17, shot Wilborn to take the homeless man’s bicycle, because Brown was “tired of walking.”

10) April 24: Kimberley Tarver, 33.

Tarver was found lying on her back around 5 a.m. in a playground at 33rd Street and Hamilton Road. With a gunshot wound to the left side of her head, she was pronounced dead there at 5:40 a.m., authorities said. Her obituary said Tarver was the mother of eight children. Police later released surveillance video of a man wanted for questioning, described as black with facial hair, 25-40 years old, 5 foot 8 to 6 feet tall, weighing 160 to 200 pounds, and wearing a green ball cap, dark jacket, blue jeans and black shoes or boots.

11) May 11: Kelly Levinsohn, 44.

Police were called around 8 p.m. to 5829 Pratt Ave. to investigate a report of someone injured or killed. The caller met officers there and told them a suspect had been injured in a wreck off I-185 in Harris County. Forcing their way in, police found Levinsohn shot to death, and confirmed Harris County sheriff’s deputies were at a wrecked vehicle off I-185’s Exit 30. Authorities determined the 51-year-old driver, William Leonard “Bill” Talley III, a Columbus police patrol sergeant and SWAT team member, had taken Levinsohn’s truck from Pratt Avenue and wrecked it. Talley was treated for injuries at Piedmont Columbus Regional before being charged with murder in Levinsohn’s death. He was booked into the Muscogee County Jail on May 16.

12) May 25: De Ann King, 34.

Columbus police were called at 12:14 p.m. to 6518 Dorsey Drive, where they found King with multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead an hour later at Piedmont Columbus Regional. Police arrested her husband, Marcus Dewayne King, 39, a block away on Mazor Drive, and charged him with murder.

13) May 26: Johnny Hawkins, 25.

Hawkins fatally was shot in the 200 block of Kendrick Avenue, where he was pronounced dead at 12:55 a.m., according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan. Columbus police called to an 11:30 p.m. report of shots fired near Kendrick Avenue and Thornton Drive found Hawkins dead in a yard, they said. In the road on Thornton Drive, about a block away, officers found a second man wounded by gunfire. On July 26, police arrested Julius Doby, 28, charging him with shooting both men.

14) June 6: Lisa Coleman, 54.

Coleman’s nude body was found in a vacant duplex at 475 Mellon St., said Coroner Buddy Bryan, who pronounced her dead at 7:55 a.m. An autopsy later revealed Coleman died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.

15) June 29: Chongcha Dyer, 70.

Dyer was found dead of a gunshot wound around 7:30 p.m. at a home on the 2800 block of Luckie Street, according to Columbus police. Dyer was discovered after a welfare check.

16) July 6: Edgar Lee Harris IV.

Police responding to reports of a person shot at Wilson Apartments found Harris dead from a gunshot wound. On Aug. 13, Deronte Kahil Brown, 24, was arrested on unrelated charges by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Phenix City, and later charged with Harris’ shooting.

17-20) July 17: Jerrica Spellman, 29 and her three children, 3, 1 and 1 month old.

Spellman and her three children were stabbed to death by 27-year-old Travane Jackson in an apartment in Elizabeth Canty Homes. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan pronounced all four dead at 9:45 p.m. A news conference later revealed Jackson was the children’s father, and he and Spellman had a history of domestic violence.

21) Aug. 2: Jaylin Williams, 21.

Williams was taken to the Piedmont Midtown emergency room after being shot near the 3300 block of Wallace Drive. He was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m. from multiple gunshot wounds. In August police arrested Gerald Wayne Reed, Christian Patrick and Anna Stecenko, all 21, charging them in Williams’ homicide.

22 & 23) Aug. 25: Lamonte Denard Muff, 28, and Lyatray Lilshawn Buchanan, 24.

Officers called at 10:23 p.m. to Mellon Street Apartments at 423 Mellon Street found Muff and Buchanan suffering from gunshot wounds inside an apartment, police said. Both died later at the hospital. Witnesses told investigators three men chased Muff and Buchanan into the apartment and shot them.

24) Aug. 27: Kevin Jernigan.

Kenneth Jernigan, 36, stabbed his brother Kevin to death at 2710 King St., said officers who arrested Kenneth at the scene and reported they recovered the knife used in the crime. Both the victim and the suspect lived at the King Street home, authorities said.

25) Sept. 1: K’Darious Bartlett, 21.

Bartlett was found shot to death inside an apartment at Wilson Homes on Eighth Avenue, where witnesses told police at least five people were seen running from the apartment afterward. Devarey Smith, 26, was arrested and charged with murder, authorities said.

26) Sept. 23: Dontrell Dwayne Williams, 26.

Williams fatally was shot during a 3 a.m. robbery at the Forrest Road Circle K where he worked. He was pronounced dead of multiple gunshot wounds at 3:33 a.m. at the hospital, said Coroner Buddy Bryan. Surveillance video shows the robber wearing a Halloween mask, a gray camouflage hooded sweatshirt, a reflective vest, dark pants, dark shoes and striped socks. A $10,000 reward is offered for tips leading to a suspect.

27) Sept. 30: Justis Bolen, 21.

Officers called to a Shell station at 6959 Macon Road found Bolen with gunshot wounds, but believed he was shot around 6 p.m. at the Petro station at 6262 Macon Road, where 19-year-old Xavier Tate was wounded. Bolen was rushed to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital, where he later died. Police have charged Elijah Odom and Demario Lockhart, both 21, with shooting Tate and Bolen.

28) Oct. 1: Lachasta Giles, 45.

Officers called to a shooting at Springfield Crossing Apartments, 3320 North Lumpkin Road, found Giles dead from a gunshot wound in the parking lot near building 10.

29 & 30) October 7: Montrell Dequan Johnson, 18, and Terreon Deontae Joseph, 17.

Police called at 11 p.m. to the 200 block of 32nd Avenue found Johnson and Joseph dead from gunshot wounds, and suspected they were killed while walking down the street. Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing a dark-colored sedan described as a “older looking police car,” possibly a Ford Crown Victoria, speeding toward North Lumpkin Road.

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Tim Chitwood is from Seale, Ala., and started as a police beat reporter with the Ledger-Enquirer in 1982. He since has covered Columbus’ serial killings and other homicides, following some from the scene of the crime to trial verdicts and ensuing appeals. He also has been a Ledger-Enquirer humor columnist since 1987. He’s a graduate of Auburn University, and started out working for the weekly Phenix Citizen in Phenix City, Ala.
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