Crime

Columbus police sergeant accused of murder still hospitalized, court appearance pending

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Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know in North Texas to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast.

The Columbus police sergeant charged in the fatal shooting of a local paramedic during an apparent domestic dispute remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday, authorities said.

Accused of shooting 44-year-old Kelly Levinsohn inside her 5829 Pratt Avenue home Saturday evening, William Leonard Talley, 51, was taken to Piedmont Columbus Regional after he wrecked Levinsohn’s truck off Exit 30 of Interstate 185 in Harris County.

Talley remains under guard in the hospital after investigators served a warrant Sunday morning accusing him of murder. He is to have a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder’s Court upon his release from the hospital.

Authorities said Talley, who has been with the department since July 2002, currently is on leave without pay, pending his court appearance. He has been working in the department’s patrol division, but also served on the SWAT team, police said.

“He’s still in the hospital, still in ICU,” Assistant Police Chief Gil Slouchick said Monday, referring to Piedmont’s intensive care unit. Talley cannot communicate with detectives because of his injuries, he said.

That leaves the investigation in its early stages, Slouchick said: “There’s a lot of stuff that still needs to be done.”

Police Chief Ricky Boren said Talley currently faces no additional charges. “The murder charge is the only charge,” he said.

Sgt. William Leonard Talley, 51, has been with the Columbus Police Department since 2002. He was charged with murder in the death of Kelly Levinsohn, found shot to death in her home on May 11, 2019, in her home off of Pratt Avenue.

Police have recovered a gun that may have been used to shoot Levinsohn, as one was found in her truck after Talley wrecked it, the chief said, adding, “It’s not our weapon,” meaning it was not a gun issued Talley by the police department.

Talley was not on duty when the shooting happened.

“I don’t have any knowledge of his injuries,” Boren said, so the chief could not comment on when Talley might be out of the hospital.

Tax records indicate Talley since 1998 has owned a home on Pickering Drive in Columbus. He also has lived in Phenix City and in Henrico County, Va., according to online records.

Levinsohn has owned the Pratt Avenue home since 2013, records show.

The discovery

Columbus police said they discovered Levinsohn dead after they got a 911 call about 8 p.m. Saturday reporting that someone either was injured or killed in a home on Pratt Avenue. The caller met police there and told them a suspect had been involved in an accident in Harris County, investigators said.

After officers went into home, they found that Levinsohn had been shot to death and her vehicle was missing.

She was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound at 9:05 p.m. Saturday, said Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.

Bryan said Levinsohn, a paramedic for Care Ambulance, was well-liked among those who work in public safety: “She was one of us.”

After wrecking Levinsohn’s truck in Harris County, Talley was arrested by Harris County sheriff’s deputies before an ambulance took him to the hospital in Columbus.

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