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When Kenneth Moore walked into his Curry Street home, found three burglars inside and tried to run out his back door, they gunned him down from behind and stepped over him as they dashed to a pickup truck and sped away.
Twice wounded and lying halfway out the door, Moore still managed to call 911 from a cordless phone, and lived long enough to tell police what happened, though he could not identify the intruders.
He mortally was wounded Dec. 18, 2017, and after three surgeries, he died Jan. 1.
And Columbus police just got his autopsy report, dated June 1, that says the 61-year-old died as a result of the wounds to his left shoulder and right buttock.
Detectives already had tracked down and charged three youths with the break-in and assault after learning their red Toyota Tacoma pickup had been used in other burglaries, but the suspects had not gone to court on murder charges because police were waiting on the autopsy results.
With those results in hand, they took Marquez Clayton, Kevonta Daniels and Ladarius Render to Recorder’s Court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday, though Daniels’ case was delayed until Friday so he could hire an attorney.
Render and Daniels were juveniles, but authorities chose to prosecute them as adults. Their photographs were unavailable Wednesday.
Before he died, Moore told police he came home about 10:30 p.m., walked in and started up the stairs when he saw two males, one armed with a gun that he pointed at Moore. Moore heard a third intruder he couldn’t see, he said.
He turned to flee, and the intruder with the gun fired. Moore fell in his kitchen, and was shot a second time as he crawled to the back door, where the burglars stepped over him as they ran out, detectives said.
The suspects took Moore’s cellphone, some cash and two sets of car keys, police said. The victim was shown photo lineups, but told officers he didn’t get a good look at the intruders and wouldn’t recognize them.
Each suspect was charged with murder. Judge Julius Hunter found probable cause to send Render’s and Clayton’s cases to Muscogee Superior Court.
Clayton, 18, had a run-in with the law just four months before the shooting, according to police and a previous news report. He and a 16-year-old girl were caught having sex at 10:50 a.m. in a stairwell in a back corner of the Columbus Technical College library, authorities said.
Both suspects, enrolled in an adult education program at the college, were charged with public indecency, campus police said.