CB&T bank robbery suspect linked to 10 other armed robberies

A man arrested in connection with a Ladonia, Ala., bank robbery Tuesday has been linked to 10 other armed robberies in Columbus over the past month.

Markell Dewon Walton, 20, was arrested at the Booker T. Washington apartments in Columbus after he allegedly entered the Columbus Bank and Trust Co. branch on U.S. Highway 80 in Ladonia and robbed the bank of an undisclosed amount of money.

Police said Wednesday the Columbus man has been tied to 10 Columbus business robberies — including holdups at several convenience stores, a liquor store and pawn shop — since Sept. 14. The latest robbery he’s been linked to was an incident at the Miller Road Circle K gas station on Monday, a day before the bank robbery.

Walton faces 10 counts of armed robbery and 10 counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He is scheduled to appear in Columbus Recorders Court 2 p.m. Thursday.

The second suspect, Durrell Hughes, 24, was also arrested at BTW apartments and transported to the Muscogee County Jail, where he was held with a charge of fugitive from justice. He was brought Wednesday to the Russell County Jail, where he is being held with a charge of robbery in the first degree.

Local law enforcement officers are still looking for the third suspect in the robbery. Columbus Police Sgt. Frank Massa said they have identified a suspect and are looking for him. He did not release a name or description.

Police said the three were involved in a CB&T robbery Tuesday afternoon. Moments after Walton allegedly robbed and ran from the bank, a bystander called the police department and informed them of the robber’s possible getaway vehicle, Phenix City Police Capt. Frank Ivey said Tuesday. The information was then broadcast over police radios.

A patrol unit on the way to the scene spotted a similar vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 280 and U.S. 80 in Phenix City and began following it. The chase led officers into Columbus along Victory Drive and eventually onto Fifth Avenue, where the suspect’s car crashed at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street.

More than a dozen law enforcement vehicles from the Columbus and Phenix City Police Departments and the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident Tuesday.