Defense attorney says he has videotape evidence that his client was not at the scene of Deonn Carter shooting
One of the five suspects charged in the Aug. 9 shooting that killed Deonn Carter told police he was in a stolen vehicle with others when the autistic man was randomly attacked, according to testimony Thursday morning in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
“(Travarus D. Thomas) said they were out riding around and they came across Deonn Carter and decided to rob him,” Columbus Police Detective Darrell Middlebrooks told the court. “He’s putting it on someone else, but he was definitely there for sure.”
Middlebrooks said authorities were called to a shooting at Parkside at Britt David around 9:26 p.m. Aug. 9. They found Carter near the entrance of the apartment complex at 5443 Armour Road suffering from a gunshot to the back of his left leg.
Carter, who was beloved by first responders, told police that he was robbed and shot by a black man who left in a white Nissan truck with other black men. Authorities haven’t stated who was identified as the shooter.
During their investigation, officials determined that the vehicle was stolen. It was abandoned when authorities located it at a recreation center near Carver High School, Middlebrooks testified.
Officials said they haven’t located any weapon, but a .38-caliber round was found in Carter’s leg.
Carter was taken to Midtown Medical Center for treatment. Eleven days later, he died of a blood clot at 11:41 a.m. Aug. 20 in the intensive care unit.
The Muscogee County coroner said Carter died of complications from the gunshot wound, and he would still be alive if he hadn’t been shot.
Middlebrooks said further investigation indicated that the people who were involved in Carter’s death are Travarus Thomas, 20, Dequoyae Devon Waldon, 22, Tyquez Davis, 18, Tauron Stepney, 18, and Quamaine Thomas, 18.
All of them have been apprehended except for Tauron Stepney and Quamaine Thomas, who are still wanted on outstanding murder warrants.
Davis was being held in the Muscogee County Jail on unrelated burglary charges when he agreed to speak with authorities on Aug. 20 about the fatal shooting. He initially denied being at the crime scene but later admitted to being there with three other individuals, Middlebrooks testified.
Davis allegedly told police that he was involved but stayed inside the vehicle during the incident.
Taken into custody on Aug. 25, Thomas also told police he was at the scene with at least two other individuals at the time of the shooting, Middlebrooks said. Police confirmed that there is also physical evidence linking him to the crime but didn’t elaborate further.
Officials said both suspects identified Waldon as one of the individuals who was on the scene with them, but Waldon hasn’t given a statement to detectives since he was arrested Aug. 26.
Attorney Stacey Jackson, who represented Waldon, brought in witnesses who told the court that his client was watching a fight on Calvin Avenue at the time of the shooting.
“There was an altercation that took place around the time that the shooting occurred in a different part of town, and you can hear Mr. Waldon’s voice on that video tape that we have a copy of,” Jackson said after court. “Mr. Waldon was nowhere near the scene where Mr. Carter was shot.”
Travarus Thomas, Waldon and Davis all pleaded not guilty to murder. They were ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail without bond, except for Thomas. He’s being held in the Harris County Jail without bond.
The charges were bound over to Superior Court.