A Columbus man indicted for the alleged Nov. 28 shooting of a Butler County man in a Fayette County church parking lot is set to go to trial Wednesday.
Brandon J. Taylor, 28, is indicted on charges of first-degree felony aggravated robbery, two counts of second-degree felony felonious assault, third-degree felony tampering with evidence, a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, and failure to appear. He is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
On the evening of Nov. 28 in the Center Christian Church parking lot, located on Garringer-Edgefield Road in northwest Fayette County, a witness in the area reported observing two vehicles in the lot and at least two individuals outside the vehicles involved in a physical altercation.
A short time later, the caller reported hearing what was believed to be a gunshot. Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jordan Lovely found an incoherent man, later identified as Lee E. Watkins, 25, inside of a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. The other vehicle departed the scene by the time deputies arrived, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
Lovely requested response from EMS and a medical helicopter while administering first aid to Watkins, who was shortly thereafter flown to the trauma center for treatment. Watkins survived the shooting.
Taylor was arrested in December after charges were filed against him.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I) conducted the investigation. Authorities believe the motive in the shooting centers around a robbery or robbery attempt.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica