Suspect in Columbus homicide tried to escape arrest by climbing through window, officer says

A 24-year-old had his first appearance in Recorder’s Court on Thursday, four months and a day after the Columbus homicide in July.

Deronte Brown is charged with murder in connection with the July 6 shooting at the Wilson Apartments on 3400 8th Avenue. Police responded to numerous calls about the incident on July 6 and upon arrival, found Edgar Lee Harris, 28, dead from a gunshot wound in his back.

Sgt. Dexter Wysinger testified on Thursday that witnesses saw a burgundy colored car pull up to the apartment complex with Brown in the passenger’s seat. Brown got out of the vehicle and ran towards Harris and another individual, according to Wysinger.

Witnesses told police that Brown had a handgun near his waist and later chased Harris further into the complex. Witnesses then heard several gunshots, one of which ended up killing Harris, Wysinger said.

Brown was picked out of a photo lineup and surveillance footage confirmed most of what witnesses were telling police, according to Wysinger.

He was arrested in Alabama on unrelated charges on Aug. 13 by the U.S. Marshal’s Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force in Phenix City. Brown attempted to escape arrest by climbing through a window of a residence in Phenix City, holding a handgun that matched the caliber of the shell casings that were found on the homicide scene, according to Wysinger.

“Most of the casings were aluminum gray in color, but (the casing on the scene) was a brass colored casing which wasn’t grouped with any of the other casings,” Wysinger said.

It took until Nov. 4 for Brown to be extradited back to Georgia, where Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Muscogee Superior Court after the preliminary hearing.

Tandra Smith is the Ledger-Enquirer’s newest reporter. A Georgia Southern University graduate, she’s covered everything from protests to hurricanes and more. Here in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley, she will focus on breaking and trending news.