Calvin Avenue murder suspect accused of child cruelty

Richard Gilliam, one of six charged with murder in the Jan. 7 Calvin Avenue shooting, has now been accused of beating his young child, according to the Columbus Police Department.

Gilliam, 23, appeared in Recorder's Court Wednesday, where he waived his hearing and entered a not guilty plea to first-degree cruelty to children, battery concerning family violence, theft by taking and first-degree burglary. He was ordered to be held in the Muscogee County Jail.

Police said in an arrest report that Gilliam reportedly entered a residence in the 1300 block of 24th Street and kicked his ex-girlfriend's face and body. He also kicked his 4-year-old son and hit his face and arms, a report shows.

The offender reportedly stole his ex-girlfriend's LG Optimus cell phones valued at $600 during the incident, officials stated in a report.

Gilliam was arrested Feb. 23 at 4:18 p.m. in the 1000 block of Winston Road for outstanding warrants concerning the offense.

The 23-year-old suspect plead not guilty Friday to one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm during a crime.

Those charges stem from the Jan. 7 shooting in the 1000 block of Calvin Avenue in which Gerald Hightower Jr., 33, was shot killed, Hightower's 26-year-old cousin survived two shots in the leg and 45-year-old surviving victim's face and head was beaten, police said in a report.