Trial date pushed back for one of three men charged in murder of Rome half-sisters

Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2023–8:07 a.m.

-John Bailey, Rome News-Tribune-

The trial for one of the three men accused in the May 2020 killing of half-sisters Vanita Nicole Richardson and Truvenia Campbell, originally planned for March, has been delayed until September.

Christopher Leedarius Pullen

According to the Rome News-Tribune, the trial for Christopher Leedarius Pullen was pushed back until later this year, the Cherokee County, Alabama, court clerk’s office confirmed Monday.

Pullen, Devin Lashawn Watts and Desmond Lavonta Brown are all charged with murder, among other charges, in the incident.

They are being tried separately. The tentative trial date scheduled for Watts is May 22 and for Brown is Aug. 21.

Brown and Watts face capital murder charges and potentially face the death penalty; Pullen is charged with felony murder, which could carry a life sentence.

Devin Lashawn Watts

The men were originally charged in Floyd County because the sisters’ bodies were found in Rome. But after cellphone records and other evidence determined the murders took place in Cherokee County, Alabama, the case was transferred and will be tried in that jurisdiction.

According to information presented in a December 2020 hearing in Floyd County Superior Court:

The men took the two sisters, who they believed stole Brown’s wallet during a birthday party, for a ride in Richardson’s 1997 gold Toyota Corolla. During an attempt to search the women, police say Brown shot them both.

The wallet was later found in Brown’s home behind a television set.

Desmond Lavonta Brown

The three men then drove around with the sisters’ bodies in the trunk before dumping them off a bridge at the East Rome Bypass near Grizzard Park.

The bodies — with bags over the victims’ heads — were discovered the next morning, on May 13, 2020, by Georgia Department of Transportation crews preparing to do a bridge inspection.

This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at

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