STATESBORO, Ga. — A Georgia man was found guilty on lesser charges in the shooting death 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson, WJCL in Savannah reports.
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Marc Wilson, 23, the son of former Coweta County’s fire chief, faced felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a deadly weapon to commit a felony charges but the jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, a lesser charge.
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Wilson, the son of a Black father and white mother, and his white girlfriend had just picked up food from a Taco Bell about 12:30 a.m. when the pickup truck pulled alongside Wilson’s much smaller Ford Focus. Wilson told police the pickup truck tried to run his car off the road as white teenagers inside yelled racist slurs.
Defense attorneys acknowledged that Wilson of Sharpsburg fired the shot that killed Hutcheson on a bypass circling the southeast Georgia city of Statesboro the night of June 24, 2020. But they insisted Wilson was justified in opening fire in self-defense.
“Mr. Wilson did what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances” to save the lives of himself and his girlfriend defense attorney Francys Johnson told the jury.
Prosecutors said in closing remarks on Tuesday, Wilson had no justification to fire a handgun in traffic and could have escaped if he was being harassed by another driver. One of the bullets he fired went through the truck’s rear window and struck Hutcheson of Reidsville in the head. She died after her friends rushed her to a hospital.
“He introduced the firearm, he introduced the bullets,” prosecutor Barclay Black told the jury. “He committed the aggravated assault ... to cause her death, which makes it felony murder.”
The jury began deliberation on Tuesday around 2 p.m. and delivered the verdict Wednesday just after 1 p.m. The foreperson said the decision was unanimous.
Wilson is set to be sentenced on Sept. 20.
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