A 16-year-old boy allegedly told someone close to him that he shot Bobby Seawright Jr. on Dec. 17 in the Branton Lane area, according to testimony Wednesday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
The defendant, who was charged as an adult, pleaded not guilty to murder in the 25-year-old man’s death. He was ordered held in the Aaron Cohn Regional Youth Detention Center without bond.
Judge Michael Joyner bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Detective David Stokes said authorities were called to a parking lot at the intersection of Branton Lane and Branton Woods Drive at 2:20 a.m. Saturday to investigate a shooting. They found Seawright lying dead next to his running car with multiple gunshot wounds.
In a news release, Lt. Greg Touchberry said Seawright had taken a friend home, and he was leaving the area in his vehicle when he came in contact with an individual who was walking down the street.
Authorities obtained surveillance video from a church that showed an armed person walking in the area where the homicide occurred. They released the video, which has no audio, to the media hoping that someone could help identify the individual.
“This interaction led to Mr. Seawright stopping his vehicle near the intersection of Branton Lane and Branton Woods Drive,” Touchberry said on Dec. 19. “Mr. Seawright was then shot and the suspect fled the area on foot.”
Stokes said someone who didn’t witness the shooting told police the 16-year-old defendant revealed that he committed the crime.
“On the night of the incident, the suspect confessed to him that he was in the area of Forest Road in a parking lot when an individual drove up, exited the vehicle and he shot him several times,” Stokes testified. “The individual who contacted us had a close relationship with the defendant.”
Stokes said multiple individuals positively identified the defendant as the person in the video, but , Stokes confirmed.
Authorities issued a murder warrant for the 16-year-old and took him into custody Jan. 19 at his school. He declined to give a statement to police.
Officials said they have searched three locations, including Decatur Court and Yosemite Drive. They found no weapons but seized clothing from at least one of the locations.
Stokes did not clarify who owns that clothing, but he confirmed that it was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab for testing.
Stacey Jackson, who represented the 16-year-old, said his client maintains his innocence. He said the teen didn’t know Seawright prior to the shooting.
“Obviously, he believes that he was not the shooter. He was not at the crime scene,” Jackson said.