BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. — A man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
Bulloch County Judge Ronald Thompson handed down the sentence shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
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Emma Rigdon says she was in the passenger seat when her boyfriend Marc Wilson, who is biracial, shot and killed Hutcheson on a Georgia bypass in Statesboro.
She believes Wilson acted in self-defense.
“It was torture, it was torture,” Rigdon told Channel 2′s Justin Carter. “I wish more than anything I could have just hugged him one last time.”
It was a late night back in June 2020, when Rigdon says she and Wilson went to a Taco Bell to grab some food.
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She says a group of white teenagers approached Wilson outside the restaurant while she sat in the car.
“They said his life didn’t matter,” Rigdon said. “They called me an N-lover.”
Rigdon claims that the group then followed them down a Georgia bypass.
“They started swerving into our lane. We’re on the rumble strips,” Rigdon said. “That’s when Marc fired a warning shot and said, ‘Leave us alone. We don’t want any more trouble.’”
She says they heard loud bangs, and Wilson fired another shot. It killed 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson, who was sitting in the backseat.
“I don’t blame anybody but the people in that truck,” Rigdon said. “I blame the driver in that truck because if he would not have done what he did, we would not be here. Haley would still be alive.”
Wilson’s family and lawyers say the case has revealed a racial double standard for “Stand Your Ground” laws in Georgia as they fight for a new trial.
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“It’s emotionally draining but we are not done fighting,” Rigdon said. “We’re not backing down.”
A jury found Wilson not guilty on the more serious felony murder, aggravated assault, and weapons charges.
Wilson will receive credit for time served. He will spend just under seven years in prison.
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