Apache County Superior Court began around 2 p.m.; it was around 2:15 when Columbia came walking in shackled from his hands to his feet. The sound of his chains rang through the courthouse.
Columbia was booked into Apache County Jail for numerous felony warrants on August 10, 2023. The warrant describes several charges that stem from Attempted First Degree Murder/Premeditated to Disorderly Conduct. Several of the charges, the state alleges, are Domestic Violence violations.
The warrant dates to events that occurred on March 21, 2023, and was signed on July 19, 2023, by Apache County Chief Deputy Attorney Tyron D Jensen.
It took a manhunt to get Columbia into custody.
The charges may continue as the Apache County Sheriff’s Office investigates possible homicide charges against Columbia for a separate incident.
Honorable Michael Latham was the Apache County Superior Court presiding Judge and heard Columbias case.
Columbia made his way up to Judge Latham and his attorney, R. John Lee, shackled, wearing orange and white prison clothes. He had a solemn look on his face as he sat down and looked over his plea deal with his attorney.
As quick as Columbia sat down, he got up, refused the States plea deal, and walked quickly to the back of the courthouse. Walking by the reporter, Columbia nodded to his supporters and said,” I will call you.”
Lee said, “It was a mushy deal” and indicated that Columbia requested a contested Preliminary Hearing.
The Preliminary Hearing means the state has the burden of proof providing enough evidence in support of each charge showing probable cause.
Legal Assistant to R. John Lee, Breanna Lee, wrote in an email “between these hearings the State will extend a plea offer that starts the base of negotiations, which can take months of back and forth.”
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist for Mountain Daily Star
Pictures Molly K Ottman