Columbus man runs out of sentencing hearing, jumps from balcony

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A man found guilty after his DNA was discovered on an Oreo at the crime scene fled from his sentencing hearing, jumped over a courthouse balcony railing and landed one story below with an apparent broken leg and other injuries.

The bloody aftermath was caught on a bystander’s phone. (Warning: Some may find the content of the video disturbing.)

Donald Mullins, 44, of Columbus, had been out on bond and was at the Franklin County Government Center on Thursday, May 20 to answer for charges of aggravated burglary, robbery and theft. Judge Mark Serrott gave him 4-6 years in prison.

According to the judge’s office, Mullins asked to have a few days before being taken in custody to have surgery for health issues he had been dealing with. Although the office noted that Mullins appeared feeble during the hearing, Serrott denied the extension.

Mullins then ran from the courtroom and immediately jumped off a sixth floor balcony, falling to the fifth floor. An onlooker began recording the incident as sheriff’s deputies responded.

His leg apparently broken and his head covered in blood, Mullins was unable to get up and laid on the floor for several minutes with law enforcement surrounding him. He was later taken to Grant Medical Center.

An extra charge of escaping custody is expected to be added to the original charges, in which Mullins was linked to the crimes using DNA from a half-eaten Oreo cookie.

According to the complaint, Mullins had been given money from an 82-year-old man by claiming to be his neighbor and saying he needed it to pay his electric bill. Mullins returned two more times asking for more money, but the man refused.

In January 2020, Mullins showed up at the man’s house again with a package of Oreos. He ate some and then asked to use the bathroom. After he didn’t immediately return, the man went looking for Mullins and went into his bedroom, where Mullins shoved the man to the floor and took $400-$500 in cash out of the man’s pocket.

DNA from the Oreo’s was used to help confirm Mullins’ identity.

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