A West Side man has been charged with tampering with evidence and theft of a vehicle, after the SUV that was stolen from a slain livery driver was found early this morning at a Far West Side motel. Brian Lee Jones, 41, was charged in Franklin County Municipal Court this evening after the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban was found.
A West Side man has been charged with tampering with evidence and theft of a vehicle after the SUV stolen from a slain livery driver was found early yesterday morning at a Far West Side motel.
Brian Lee Jones, 41, was charged in Franklin County Municipal Court yesterday after the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban was found.
The SUV had belonged to Paul D. Devitt, 49, who was shot multiple times and left for dead at a mobile-home park in Washington Township on Tuesday night.
About 1 a.m. yesterday, Columbus police officers who were patrolling area motels spotted the vehicle at the America’s Best Value Inn, 1313 W. St. James Lutheran Lane, off I-70 at the Hilliard-Rome Road exit, said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Police Division spokesman.
They alerted Franklin County sheriff’s office investigators, who are handling the case.
After questioning, Jones was arrested and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence. Court records show he’s accused of removing three spent shell casings from the scene where Devitt was killed.
Last night, Sheriff Zach Scott refused to give any more information about Jones’ arrest, including whether he would be charged in Devitt’s death.
Devitt had been running his own car service since 2010, when he started Hilliard Hometown Taxi. He had since changed the name to Black Car of Columbus and was picking up customers through the on-demand car-service app Uber Black.
Devitt also taxied customers who called his cellphone. Uber said that Devitt hadn’t provided any rides through the app that day.
The Suburban was found about 11/2 miles from the home Devitt shared with his wife and children in Prairie Township, and about 10 miles south of the Hayden Heights Mobile Home Park, 5501 Cosgray Rd., where Devitt’s body was found.