STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — Marcus Wilson was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years for involuntary manslaughter — the maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
On Aug. 31, a jury found Wilson guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson. Wilson was initially charged with felony murder and aggravated assault for shooting into a moving truck and striking and killing Hutcheson in Statesboro in June 2020.
Hutcheson’s family said it’s a day they don’t want to remember, and one that turned their world upside down
“We had to wake our children up and tell them that their sissy was gone. And they would never see her again,” Haley’s stepmother Allison said. “How do you tell your kid that they’re never going to see their sister again and make it OK?”
Wilson was found not guilty of the original charges in the indictment including felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
The state argued Wilson was not justified in his use of force, while defense claimed he fired his gun in self-defense.
During the three-hour sentencing hearing on Tuesday, defense attorneys brought a dozen witnesses to the stand to testify about Wilson’s character. Multiple referred to him as a “gentle giant” and asked the judge for leniency in his sentence.
Wilson’s parents directly addressed the Hutchesons before sentencing.
“Regardless of all this – regardless – we love y’all and we’re praying for y’all every day,” Pat Wilson said. “We’ll continue to pray for y’all. I want you to know that’s from the bottom of my heart.”
“Marc will have to live with this and he will have to come to terms with what happened that night when he was trying to protect his life,” Amanda Wilson said.
Judge Ronnie Thompson said he spent a lot of time thinking about this case, calling it a “tragic situation.” The judge said he believed the sentence was fair, but Wilson’s attorneys disagree.
“It’s a sad day in America that a young man of Marc’s character for him to receive the maximum,” said defense attorney Mawuli Davis. “For him to receive the maximum, he would have to be the worst of the worst. Yet, by all accounts, he was the best of the best.”
Wilson has already served two years during his initial arrest and the time between the verdict and sentencing.
The state is also asking for Wilson to pay restitution to the Hutcheson family. That hearing is scheduled for next week. Meanwhile, defense attorneys said they plan to file for a mistrial.
Wilson is in custody of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.