A man accused of breaking into cars at Cloister Apartments was found with 35 fake $100 bills in his pocket after he was taken into custody early Sunday, a Columbus police officer testified Tuesday in Recorder’s Court .
Marquelis Williams, 18, pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, four counts of entering an auto, reckless conduct, two counts of financial transaction card theft and 35 counts of possessing fake $100 bills. Judge Julius Hunter set bonds totaling $38,500 and bound all charges over to Muscogee Superior Court.
Patrol officer Tyler Sierra said police were called about 5:15 a.m. to the apartments to check on a man seen trying to enter an auto in the parking lot at 3821 Armour Ave. The officer was told the suspect was held at gunpoint by a witness to the attempted car break-in.
Sierra said he heard a shot while he was headed to the apartment complex. Other officers arrived on the scene to assist in the investigation.
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Police said the witness was chasing Williams, who then pointed his gun and fired a shot. An officer then fired a Taser at the suspect but it didn’t make contact. An officer tackled Williams and took him into custody, Sierra said.
Police found a loaded 9 mm pistol, two credit cards, 35 counterfeit $100 bills and 8 grams of marijuana. Sierra said he didn’t know the bills were counterfeit until an officer told him. “I just grabbed a handful of cash,” he told the court.
Williams was represented by public defender Erik Smith who asked the judge to reduce the $1,000 bond on each counterfeit bill. Hunter agreed and reduced bond to $500 on each bill.
Williams also was charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer and possession of marijuana.