Columbus trial delayed for three bikers charged with murder, gang terrorism

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A DNA test has delayed the trial of three bikers charged with murder and gang terrorism in a bar shootout that left one man dead and three others wounded on Oct. 9, 2015.

The trial was to begin Monday before Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters, but defense attorneys sought a delay because the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has yet to provide results of a DNA test from blood found on the gun used to kill Dominic Mitchell.

The test results are expected by April 15, attorneys said. Peters rescheduled the trial for May 1.

Michell died from two gunshot wounds to the chest after rival gangs fired 63 shots around 11:20 p.m. at the 4th Quarter Sports Bar, 6969 Macon Road. Three other wounded people went to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital.

Demark Ponder of LaGrange, who had a gunshot wound to the right leg, arrived at the hospital with James Daniel Jr. of Pine Mountain, both dressed in all black and riding white Harley-Davidson motorcycles, police said. They are charged in the shootout along with Daginald Wheeler of Columbus.

Detectives said surveillance video from the bar showed the Strikers motorcycle gang was meeting there when the black-clad Outcasts arrived on eight motorcycles traveling single-file.

Police said the Outcasts started the fight, and witnesses identified Ponder, Daniel and Wheeler as Outcast members involved in the shootout. Wheeler was an Outcast leader, and Ponder fired the fatal shots, investigators said.

Police later searched Wheeler’s property, finding a black Harley-Davidson with Outcast logos that appeared to match one detectives saw on the bar’s surveillance video, officers said.

Each defendant is charged with murder, robbery, aggravated assault, using a gun to commit a crime and three counts of violating the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Wheeler faces an additional count of violating the gang prevention act, and Ponder is charged also with lying to police about his gunshot wound.

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