Crime

Fifth suspect in fatal shooting during attempted drug robbery appears in Recorder’s Court

Fifth man charged in fatal shooting at Sands Apartments waives preliminary hearing

Christian Solomon Caulton, one of five men charged in the fatal Dec. 9 shooting of Derrick Scott at the Sands Apartments, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Columbus Recorder's Court. Defense attorney Michael Eddings represented Caulton.
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Christian Solomon Caulton, one of five men charged in the fatal Dec. 9 shooting of Derrick Scott at the Sands Apartments, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Columbus Recorder's Court. Defense attorney Michael Eddings represented Caulton.

The fifth suspect in the Dec. 9 fatal shooting of Derrick Maurice Scott during an attempted robbery at Columbus’ Sands Apartments waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

That means the murder case against 19-year-old Christian Caulton and four others now goes to Muscogee Superior Court for indictment and trial.

Scott was shot in a gunfight when he and another man inside Apt. 8 of the 1213 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. complex fought back as five armed men tried to force their way into Apt. 8 to rob the person living there of drugs and money, police said.

Three intruders armed with handguns went to the apartment’s front door the night of Dec. 9, 2018, and two armed with a handgun and a rifle went to a rear entrance, police Cpl. Jason Carden said during a preliminary hearing Friday for another suspect, Demetrius Domingo Anton Pride, 18.

Caulton was to have his preliminary hearing Friday along with Pride, but his attorney was unavailable, so his case was postponed until Tuesday. Because attorney Michael Eddings entered a not guilty plea for Caulton and waived the hearing, the court heard no testimony Tuesday.

Police found Scott wounded when they were called at 10:44 p.m to check on someone shot at the Sands Apartments. Rushed to Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Midtown Campus, Scott died in the emergency room at 11:26 p.m. He was 34.

Finding surveillance cameras were monitoring the apartments, investigators checked the recordings and retrieved “high-quality” images of the gunmen, which officers disseminated through news media to seek the public’s help identifying the suspects, Carden said Friday. That resulted in “numerous tips” that included people who recognized Pride, he said.

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Carden said the suspects were trying to rob the apartment resident of money and “multiple-type drugs” police found in the apartment.

Others charged in the case are Dondrell Marquez Tells, 21; Terrell Markell Lee, 24; and Jaheem Diquon Rozier, 18, police said.

Pride and Caulton were the last of the five suspects arrested. When U.S. Marshals and a police special operations unit arrived Wednesday to capture Caulton and Pride in an apartment near Cusseta Road and 32nd Avenue, Caulton “bailed out” a window and quickly was caught, Carden said.

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Anyone with more information on the homicide may contact Carden at 706-225-4395 or jcarden@columbusga.org.

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