A Columbus Recorder's Court judge found Thursday morning there was enough evidence to send the first murder case of the year to Superior Court.
illie James Holmes, 54, of 1225 Ninth Ave., Phenix City is charged with Monday's murder of Russell Dent Jr., a 41-year-old homeless man formerly of Smiths Station, Ala.
Dent was killed shortly before 8 p.m. on the 14th Street Bridge, just 30 feet from the Alabama state line.
Judge Dennis Cielinski listened to about 10 minutes of testimony from Columbus Police Detective Carl Akin before making the decision there was enough evidence for the case to proceed.
Holmes stood quietly in from of the judge as the detective described the events that led to Dent's death.
The two men had been involved in a fight that started when Dent tried to throw Christy White, 33, over the bridge railing and into the Chattahoochee River.
Holmes and White were "boyfriend, girlfriend," Akin said.
Dent died of one stab wound to the chest. The knife used had a 5-inch blade and was thrown into the river after the altercation.
"He juked him, grabbed his 12-pack and left," Akin told the court. Holmes suffered a head injury from a blow, Akin said.
Dent had been known to carry a box cutter, but there was no evidence that he attempted to use it. White said when Dent attacked her and pulled her out of her wheelchair, Holmes came to her rescue.
White, who is in a wheelchair and was not in court Thursday morning, told a reporter earlier in the week that Holmes was defending her. There was another witness who disputed that, Akin told the court.
He (Holmes) said, 'Don't you know that woman's handicapped?' " White said.
As the men fought, White crawled back to her wheelchair and left to get help, she said. But by the time she returned, Dent was on the ground dead or dying, she said. Holmes had fled the scene.
"He fell at the same spot where he tried to throw me over the bridge," she said.