Columbus Man Pleads Not Guilty In Shooting Death Of Child

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The man charged with murder in a drive-by shooting that left his own 8-year-old nephew dead appeared in court Friday morning to make his first plea.

Extra security guards filed into the court's spectator room as Robert Broom's case was heard.  After spending four weeks on the run, the 23-year-old stood quietly behind his public defender, who filed a not guilty plea to the murder charge against him.

Detectives say in early April, Broom fired a gun from his car and a bullet fired by an unknown person or persons on the street struck the 8-year-old child in the head.

10TV was there on Thursday as officers hauled Broom into jail.  A SWAT team picked him up in south Columbus in connection with the shooting that left little Jamarion Cox dead.

Broom's cousin spoke exclusively to 10TV on Friday, saying his family is relieved he's in jail because he's protected from "the streets".

Questioned about why Robert would have opened fire, Tonnie Broom said, “from my understanding, somebody (saw) them and made a comment and then the people - whoever they are - started shooting and out of protection, he did retaliate.

Broom will appear back in court May 16th.