STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The legal team of a Black man accused of murdering a Statesboro teenager claims the 21-year-old was protecting himself from “a truckload of angry white men.”

Marc Wilson is accused of fatally shooting Haley Hutcheson, 17, on June 14 in Statesboro.

His team claims Wilson and his white girlfriend were grabbing a late-night dinner at Taco Bell when they were confronted by the group of men.

“We think that the evidence will show that what Marc confronted that night is a black mans worst nightmare, a truckload of possibly armed belligerent racists tracking you down,” Attorney Francys Johnson said.

Attorney Francys Johnson, of Francys Johnson PC of Statesboro, said the men were yelling phrases like “your lives don’t matter” and shouting that Wilson’s girlfriend was a “n— lover” from their vehicle before attempting to run the couple off of the road.

“A terrified Wilson defended his life and the life of his girlfriend with a firearm he legally carried,” the suspect’s team stated.

Wilson’s parents were emotional Monday. They said he was raised to respect the law and others.

“His character is based on loving others that is who Marc Wilson is,” Wilson’s father, Pat Wilson said.

“As a mother I know it must be very hard what the Hutcheson family has had to go through but I know that had the roles been reversed and Marc not reacted the way he did we would be mourning the loss of two lives,” Wilson’s mother, Amanda Wilson said.

At the preliminary hearing Tuesday, Wilson’s attorneys will push for the stand your ground defense. They say this will put Georgia’s justice system to the test.

“Rarely, do we see successful Stand Your Ground/self-defense claims when Black people attempt to assert them,” said Attorney Mawuli Davis, Davis Bozeman Law Firm. “This is not just the defense of a young man who feared for his life and his girlfriend’s life, this is a real test of whether the legal system in Georgia can be just for all citizens.”

Johnson also criticized the way the Statesboro Police Department handled this case after they allowed the Hutcheson family to plead for information in the case after Wilson already interviewed with police. News 3 did reach out to Statesboro Police to confirm the claims Wilson’s legal team is making but they have deferred our comments until after Tuesday’s hearing.

Wilson remains at the Bulloch County Jail. His preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday at 9 a.m. before Bulloch County Superior Court Judge Michael Muldrew.