Three plead not guilty in deadly shooting of Kendrick High senior
The woman charged in the deadly shooting of her 18-year-old boyfriend was allegedly involved in an altercation with him before the incident, according to testimony Thursday in Columbus Recorder's Court.
Javon McClendon, 17; Nashira Miller, 19; and Daijon Williams, 19, pleaded not guilty to murder. They were booked into the Muscogee County Jail without bond. Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus police were called to Ballard Way Apartments at 5600 Hunter Road around 2:30 a.m. Nov. 17 to investigate a shooting. They found Javion Shorter on the staircase of Building 14 suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen and left arm.
Police Cpl. Sherman Hayes said the victim gave a statement to police in which he identified the shooter, but authorities declined to release the name. Shorter died two days later at Midtown Medical Center, Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley said.
A woman who lives at Ballard Way Apartments told authorities that Miller knocked on her door and borrowed her cellphone following a dispute with Shorter. The victim's mother told the Ledger-Enquirer that Miller was dating her son at the time.
Hayes said Miller called her ex-boyfriend and the father of her child, Williams.
"Ms. Miller had requested a ride and had expressed that she had been involved in a dispute with our victim, Javion Shorter," Hayes testified.
The witness said she saw a man standing in the stairwell of her apartment building when Miller left her residence. He was later identified as the victim, Hayes told the court.
The witness reported hearing two gunshots after she closed her door. Another witness heard two gunshots before seeing a red 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck speeding away from the apartment.
Hayes said Miller was on the scene of the shooting. They tried to interview her as a witness, but she declined all opportunities to speak with detectives about the incident.
On Dec. 1, authorities executed a search warrant at Williams residence at Eagles Trace Apartments at 2001 Torch Hill Road. They found all three co-defendants in the apartment.
Hayes said Williams had a clear plastic bag containing nine Ecstasy pills along with the cellphone that Miller called following the altercation with Shorter. Also in the residence was a .38 caliber revolver that was used in the deadly shooting, according to police.
In Williams' bedroom was a plastic bag with another Ecstasy pill, authorities said. The street value of all 10 pills is $250.
Williams was transported to the Public Safety Center, where Hayes said he denied any involvement in the shooting. He also stated that he used to have a red 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck in his possession, according to police.
The $24,000 vehicle was reported stolen on Nov. 15 and found at Eagles Trace Apartments ten days later, Hayes testified. There was moderate damage to the vehicle.
“He admitted that he had been in possession of the truck, but denied stealing the vehicle,” Hayes said during a Dec. 7 hearing where Williams faced drug and theft charges.
Williams was taken into custody and charged with possession of Ecstasy with the intent to distribute and theft by receiving stolen property.
McClendon said he knew another person who was with Williams during the homicide and identified Williams as the shooter. He was released after giving that statement to police.
On Dec. 6, McClendon was charged with theft by taking a motor vehicle. Witnesses stated that he stole the 2014 Dodge Ram that was seen fleeing the scene.
He was taken into custody at his apartment on Eagles Trace Apartments.
Hayes said he told police he loaned the stolen truck to Williams and another man two day before the shooting. He stated that they went to the apartment with the truck and Williams admitted to killing Shorter, according to police.
"Since then, we've had multiple witnesses come forth claiming that Javon McClendon had made statements claiming he was in fact the shooter to the incident being investigated," Hayes said.
Officials then conducted a second interview with Williams. He allegedly admitted to being on the scene but identified McClendon as the shooter.
"He refused to provide a statement about Nashira Miller's involvement in the case," Hayes told the court.
Officials then issued murder warrants for all three suspects.