Posted For: MugsMalone
ABlack man who fatally shot a 17-year-old girl on a Georgia road was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison despite his claims of self-defense.
Marc Wilson, 23, said he was driving his Ford Focus when a Chevrolet Silverado, with Haley Hutcheson riding in the backseat, tried to force him off the road. Wilson said teenage boys in the Silverado shouted racial slurs at him.
When Wilson opened fire on the pickup truck, one of his shots struck Hutcheson in the head.
Marc Wilson was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
But Wilson’s “stand your ground” and self-defense arguments failed to convince a jury. On Aug. 31, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The jury acquitted Wilson on more serious charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.
Wilson’s white ex-girlfriend, Emma Rigdon, testified in his defense. Wilson’s attorneys had argued that the teenagers initiated the conflict because the two were an interracial couple.
“I fully believe Marc saved my life that night,” Rigdon said, according to the Statesboro Herald. “I wholly believe if Marc was not there that night and wouldn’t have done what he did, we would have both been dead.”
Wilson said that after the Silverado swerved into his lane, the boys in the truck hung out the windows and began shouting racial slurs. Rigdon said their car was forced onto the rumble strips along the side of the road. Wilson did not testify; Rigdon said she didn’t hear any racial abuse.
The teens admitted to police that they’d been drinking underage that night but claimed not to be drunk.
The 10-year sentence was the maximum possible sentence that Judge Ronnie Thompson could have handed down.
“If Marc Wilson was a white gentlemen that night, accosted by a truckload of angry, belligerent, possibly drunk black men, and he used a legally-possessed firearm to defend himself and his passenger, he would have been given a medal and not given a prosecution,” former NAACP Georgia president Francys Johnson said during a press conference after Wilson was arrested in June 2020.
Wilson will get credit for nearly two years of time served. His attorneys promised to appeal the sentence.