Trial postponed for alleged robber in March shooting


A trial has been rescheduled for a Columbus man accused of shooting and wounding a Delaware man on March 4.

William Devan Lassiter, 34, of Columbus, was arraigned in Delaware County Common Pleas Court in March and was scheduled to stand trial Tuesday on a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; a charge of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and a charge of theft, a fifth-degree felony.

However, the trial was postponed after defense attorney Jermaine Colquitt said prosecutors had not given him all evidence in the case’s discovery process.

Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley scheduled a status conference for Wednesday at 3 p.m. to sort out the issue. A new trial date has not been set.

Lassiter allegedly went to the 286 Hickory Lane residence of William Sims, 39, and planned to purchase a dog from him, police said. Sims is a dog breeder and had arranged to sell Lassiter a puppy, police said. However, during their meeting, police said the transaction went awry and Lassiter pulled out a handgun and shot Sims in the leg.

Assistant county prosecutor Jahan Karamali told Gormley that Sims sustained a femur fracture as a result of the shooting.

The aggravated robbery and felonious assault charges both carry firearm specifications, indicating that a handgun was used to commit the offenses. Gormley said these specifications would add three years in prison to any sentence Lassiter would receive if he is convicted.

Lassiter was in the Delaware County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

After the shooting, police said Lassiter took Sims’ phone, some money and paperwork related to owning dogs, and left in a car with another man.

Without his phone to call for help, police said Sims made his way to the road where he flagged down a woman who was driving east on Pennsylvania Avenue. The woman then called police.

Sims was taken to Grant Medical Center. Delaware County sheriff’s deputies pulled over a car matching the description of the suspects’ car in the area of Polaris and Interstate 71.

Sims has since been released from the hospital.

Police detained Lassiter and a passenger in his car but ultimately did not charge the other man. Police did not release the passenger’s name because he was not charged.

Lassiter at his arraignment in March. at his arraignment in March. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG

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