Associated Press Release
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- A judge in Columbus says five people will stand trial together in the death of a minister who was fatally shot in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that authorities say pastor Blanchard Thomas was shot to death in March 2011 while trying to help the victim of a sexual assault.
Thomas had driven the reported victim to her family's home. But relatives and others there allegedly mistook the 44-year-old Thomas as someone involved in the attack.
Officials say Thomas was taken to a dead end road and shot. That's where his body was found.
Four of the five defendants are related to the woman the pastor was trying to help. All five will stand trial together beginning June 10.