BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. – A biracial man who says he was heading off a racist assault on a Georgia freeway when he fired a gun right into a pickup truck was convicted Wednesday of involuntary manslaughter for fatally taking pictures a 17-year-old lady within the truck’s again seat.
The trial jury spared 23-year-old Marc Wilson from a possible life jail sentence by acquitting him of felony homicide, the cost prosecutors argued he deserved for killing Haley Hutcheson of Reidsville.
Protection attorneys for Wilson of Sharpsburg had insisted in the course of the weeklong trial in Bulloch County Superior Courtroom that he ought to be acquitted on all fees. They mentioned Wilson was justified to shoot in self-defense when the pickup truck’s driver tried to run Wilson’s automobile off the highway.
The jury started deliberating Tuesday afternoon and spent a complete of roughly seven hours weighing the case earlier than returning a verdict.
Protection attorneys acknowledged that Wilson fired the shot that killed Hutcheson on a bypass circling the southeast Georgia metropolis of Statesboro the evening of June 24, 2020. Investigators testified that three shell casings discovered on the scene matched the handgun Wilson surrendered to police when he turned himself in three days after the taking pictures.
Prosecutor Barclay Black instructed the jury Wilson had no authorized justification for firing a handgun in visitors and will have escaped if he was being harassed by one other driver. One of many bullets he fired pierced the truck’s rear window and struck Hutcheson within the head. She died after her buddies rushed her to a hospital.
Prosecutors had charged Wilson with felony homicide, arguing he precipitated Hutcheson’s dying whereas committing one other felony, aggravated assault, by firing his gun on the truck. The jury acquitted Wilson of each these fees and opted to convict him of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a most sentence of 10 years in jail.
Superior Courtroom Decide Ronnie Thompson scheduled sentencing for Sept. 20.
Wilson, the son of a Black father and white mom, and his white girlfriend had simply picked up meals from a Taco Bell about 12:30 a.m. when the pickup truck pulled alongside Wilson’s a lot smaller Ford Focus. Wilson instructed police the pickup truck tried to run his automobile off the highway as white youngsters inside yelled racist slurs.
“Me and my girlfriend have been very scared that evening,” Wilson instructed police in a recorded interview performed for the trial jury. He mentioned that when the truck saved swerving towards his automobile, “I didn’t know what else to do, so I grabbed my, uh, my piece and I shot underneath the automobile.”
The driving force of the pickup and two passengers who took the witness stand denied threatening or in any other case upsetting Wilson. In addition they acknowledged that they’d been ingesting that evening, although they denied being drunk.
One of many truck’s passengers, Luke Conley, declined to testify by invoking his Fifth Modification proper towards giving self-incriminating testimony. He has been charged with misdemeanor obstruction after police mentioned he gave investigators conflicting details about the taking pictures.
Emma Rigdon, Wilson’s girlfriend on the time, testified that she didn’t hear any racial slurs earlier than the taking pictures. However she recalled being frightened when the pickup truck “began swerving into our lane” and compelled Wilson’s automobile onto the shoulder of the freeway.