A 21-year-old man robbed the Super 8 at 2935 Warm Springs Road a day after he checked into the Columbus hotel, according to testimony today in Columbus Recorder's Court.
Daryll Antonio Williams Jr. of Columbus, one of three people police have linked to the incident, pleaded not guilty to armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and theft by receiving stolen property.
Williams joins Justin Andrew Cleveland and Jaquariez David Scott, the 18-year-old Columbus men who pleaded not guilty Jan. 27 to charges stemming from the incident caught on surveillance video.
Columbus Police Detective Wayne Fairbairn said the footage shows a man enter the hotel around 8 p.m. and point a .44 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun at the clerk. Dressed in a black hoodie and camouflage fleece neck gaiter, the gunman demanded money before fleeing the business with $300 to $400 in cash.
No one was injured, officials said.
The clerk and a security officer said they saw the robber, who wore purple and blue Jordan shoes, get into a silver 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis with a paper tag and flee the scene, according to police.
The clerk told officials that she recognized the thief as a customer named "Daryll Antonio Williams Jr." who checked into the hotel the previous day. She said he wore the same purple and blue shoes and registered the same Grand Marquis before his hotel stay.
Officials said they used the personal information Williams provided to the business to locate his home at 5754 Marlette Court later that night. When officials arrived to the area, they spotted an unoccupied 2001 Grand Marquis without a tag parked across street at Cleveland's home at 5755 Marlette Court.
Fairbairn said neighbors reported seeing Williams driving the silver car multiple times, and officials recovered the defendant's fingerprints on the outside of the vehicle.
A black Ford Crown Victoria with the same paper tag seen at the crime scene was parked directly in front of Williams' residence, the according to police. Williams' fingerprints were found on the tag, the detective added.
Police said they approached the Crown Victoria, where they saw Cleveland and Scott sitting in the vehicle. When the suspects stepped out of the car, what appeared to be the same "unique firearm" used in the armed robbery fell at Scott's feet, Fairburn said.
Officials said they found a camouflage fleece neck gaiter and black hoodie in the Crown Victoria, which was registered to one of Cleveland's family members.
Fairbairn said authorities then went to Williams' house and spoke with his mother, who gave officials verbal consent to search the home she shared with her son. In the residence, police found what appeared to be the same purple and blue shoes worn during the armed robbery, he testified.
Cleveland and Scott were taken into custody on Marlette Court Jan. 20 and charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Felony arrest warrants were issued for Williams that same night.
Two days later, police executed a search warrant on the 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis they seized from Cleveland's home. They located a Mossberg 500A 12-gauge shotgun in the truck of the car, according to an incident report.
Officials determined that it was reported stolen in a Jan. 15 residential burglary, which led them to charge Williams with theft by taking stolen property.
The defendant was taken into custody on outstanding warrants 10 p.m. Monday in the 2200 block of Mahan Drive.
Represented by attorney Stacey Jakckson, Williams didn't testify in court. Judge Mary Buckner denied him bond on the armed charge and granted bonds totaling $15,000 on the remaining charges.
The case was bound over to Superior Court.
— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.