This morning, William Marcus Wilson, a 21-year-old college student who faces felony murder and aggravated assault charges in the June 14th death of a 17 year old Claxton High School student, Haley Hutcheson made his first appearance in court. Superior Court Judge Michael Muldrew presided.  Wilson’s legal team was prepared to ask for bond at the hearing.  However, two witnesses alerted the court they had tested positive for COVID-19, which led Judge Muldrew to call for a continuance for the hearing. However, not before Judge Muldrew issued a gag order preventing any further pretrial comments by attorneys or people connected to either side of the case.

Bulloch County Judicial Annex Closed

Chief Superior Court Judge Gates Peed immediately issued an order declaring a Judicial Emergency and temporary closure of the Bulloch County Judicial Annex until Friday, July 10, 2020 for cleaning and disinfecting.  The Courthouse is where the positive COVID-19 witnesses were this morning.  The order also stated that all court deadlines, time schedules or filing requirements are suspended, tolled or extended for the duration of the order.

Unless there is an extension of the Judicial Emergency order, the courthouse annex will reopen at 8 AM, Friday, July 10th.

A Different Story Comes to Light

In a press release issued yesterday and on a virtual press conference held by Wilson’s newly formed legal team and his family, before the gag order was in place, they described the events of the evening of June 14th much differently.

Mr. Wilson is a 21 years old Black student from Sharpsburg, Georgia.  His parents are a bi-racial couple. His father, Pat Wilson, is the Chief of Coweta County Fire and Rescue.  He previously lived in the Statesboro area while he worked for the Statesboro Fire Department.   Pat and his wife Amanda, who is Wilson’s Mom, described their son as a loving, well brought-up young man who was in Statesboro visiting with his white girlfriend.

During a late night Taco Bell run, a truckload of angry white men in a Black Silverado, accosted them in their Ford Focus.  The men threatened Wilson and his girlfriend using racial slurs at them and even attempted to run them off the road.  A terrified Wilson defended his life, and the life of his girlfriend, with a firearm he legally carried.  One of the occupants of the truck, Haley Hutcheson, 17, was killed. After fully cooperating with law enforcement investigating the death, William Marcus Wilson turned himself in to authorities.  Initially, the Statesboro Police Department provided media misleading reports and a lack of transparency suggesting this incident was random violence or even BLM ANTIFA inspired.

As clarification, we at Grice Connect cannot find any media reports that validate misleading information describe above from the press release came from SPD.  We do understand there were social media post suggesting this.  But no official release or media statement that we have seen from SPD connected it was inspired by BLM or Antifa.  They did express early on their belief that this was not a random drive by shooting.  This was meant to reassure the public that there was not a random, anonymous shooter in our community.

“Rarely, do we see successful “Stand Your Ground/self-defense” claims when Black people attempt to assert them.  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,” said Attorney Mawuli Davis, Davis Bozeman Law Firm.

Mr. Wilson remains at the Bulloch County Jail pending a Preliminary and Bond Hearing at a date to be determined before Bulloch County Superior Court Judge Michael Muldrew.

Newly Formed Legal Team

A formidable Legal Team of five veteran attorneys has formed to defend William Marcus Wilson in the racially charged atmosphere of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that has focused squarely on racial disparities within the criminal justice system.  The team includes Statesboro civil rights attorney Francys Johnson and trial attorney Martha Hall along with three highly respected trial attorneys from the Atlanta metro area, including Gary Spencer, Mawuli Davis, and Nefertara Clark.

“The team we have assembled to bring Marc Wilson home includes Gary Spencer and Mawuli Davis, part of the pro bono legal team that represented Basil Eleby, a homeless man falsely accused of burning down the I-85 bridge.  With the addition of veteran trial attorney Martha Hall along with rising star Nefertara Clark, who successfully defended Oliva Pearson in the racially motivated voter fraud prosecution, we are ready to test the metes and bounds of justice in South Georgia,” said Attorney Francys Johnson.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...