STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Marcus Wilson, accused of shooting and killing 17-year old Haley Hutcheson, was back in a Statesboro court Tuesday for a second bond hearing.
Wilson and his defense team claim he was trying to protect himself from a group of racist men who were riding in the car with Hutcheson at the time.
The defense called nine people to the stand hoping they could convince the judge to reconsider denying Wilson’s bond. A judge denied his release in a preliminary bond hearing back in August.
Amanda Wilson gave tearful testimony on behalf of her son Marcus. Her emotional distress was noticeable as she reiterated her son’s charges.
She said her son never meant to kill anyone and showed remorse when he realized he did.
“I said ‘what happened’ and he just broke down in the middle of the kitchen floor crying, I was trying to hold him because he was holding on to me really tight,” said Wilson’s mother, “he just kept saying ‘I’m in trouble, I’m in trouble.'”
The defense said Marcus Wilson was driving with his girlfriend when a group of racist men in a pickup truck tried running him off the road. Hutcheson was riding in the car with four other people near a Statesboro bypass at the time of her death.
One of Wilson’s attorneys said when passenger Luke Connelly was brought in for questioning, he called women who date Black men, n-word lovers.
Capt. Jared Akins of the Statesboro Police Department, who’s known the Wilson family for years, says he didn’t review all the footage of witnesses when he wasn’t in the room.
“I don’t recall being in the room when he made any statement like that,” said Akins.
Wilson told detectives he fired multiple shots at the bottom of the car hoping the men would stop pursuing him, but after getting away, he did not report the incident to police.
District Attorney Daphne Totten said information from someone who knew Wilson’s girlfriend, Emma Rigdon, ultimately lead to his arrest.
“Isn’t it true (Akins) that during that meeting with that informant she told you that Emma Rigdon, in the conversations that she had, had encouraged Emma and Mark to basically call police and report what had happened,” said Totten.
“Emma’s response was ‘no we’re good’,” she added.
The defense did object to this line of questioning, but the objection was overruled by the judge.
Detectives say Wilson went to his friend James Dickson’s house after the shooting and asked to borrow his car.
He said Wilson feared the men would come after him and he did not want to drive the same car back to his parent’s home in Coweta County.
Dickson said he believed Wilson was in danger, but never asked why anybody would be after him.
“He felt there was a threat, there was something that had happened,” said Dickson
Judge Michael Muldrew followed up with a question: “You weren’t curious about what it might be?”
“No sir, I am not,” Dickson responded.
Arguably, the most shocking information Dickson shared was that the shooting victim was his cousin.
“We’re not that close,” Dickson told the prosecution.
Wilson’s failure to report any information on the incident to his family until police contacted him remains at the center of the prosecution’s case.
Totten says Wilson poses a significant flight risk to the community and should be denied bond.
“Most of the witnesses in this case don’t even live in this jurisdiction, they live in Claxton,” said Wilson’s defense attorney.
Muldrew says he would need a few days before he can make a ruling.