Crime

Man wanted in deadly shooting of key witness in gangster’s murder trial

Columbus police are searching for a man they would like to question about the shooting of Steve Phillips, the 30-year-old who was found dead Nov. 16 on a wooded area off Winston Road.

Curtis Williams, a 32-year-old also known as "Baby C," is also wanted on a probation violation charge. He is a 5-foot-11 inch tall black man who weighs 190 pounds.

Columbus police were called to the 800 block of Winston Road around 9:02 a.m. Nov. 16 to check on a gunshot wound victim. They found 30-year-old Steve Phillips dead on a wooded trail near Benning Drive.

Officials are still working to determine what led to the shooting.

“It’s very common here to hear shots to the point where a lot of people don’t even call it in,” Lt. Greg Touchberry told the Ledger-Enquirer on the crime scene.

Phillips was a key witness in the murder case against Kevin Babe Henderson, a gang member convicted in the Nov. 12, 2014 shooting.

Kevin Henderson mug
Kevin Babe “Cali” Henderson, the defendant. Photo from the Muscogee County Jail.

He testified June 6 that he was driving the car in which Henderson fatally shot Chad Herring through the back of the head for no apparent reason. Herring was sitting next to Phillips in the front passenger seat, with Henderson in the back seat right behind Herring, Phillips said.

Phillips’ testimony was particularly graphic, as he described hearing a gunshot and a “glug-glug” sound like milk pouring out of a gallon jug. He said he looked over and saw blood pouring out Herring’s forehead.

Pete Temesgen, the former assistant district attorney who prosecuted Henderson, said Phillips knew he was placing himself in danger as a witness in Henderson’s murder case.

“He was always fearful of testifying,” Temesgen said. "But Phillips was close to Herring, and felt he owed it to his friend to tell what happened."

Anyone with information concerning Williams' whereabouts is encouraged to call 911 or Cpl. Robert Nicholas at 706-225-4363.

Sarah Robinson: 706-571-8622, @sarahR_92

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