SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A biracial man charged with murder in the shooting of a 17-year-old white girl on a Georgia highway says he fired in self-defense after her friends in a pickup truck yelled racial slurs and tried to run his car off the road.
Marc Wilson, 21, of Sharpsburg has been jailed since mid-June on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. Haley Hutcheson of Reidsville died June 14 at a hospital after she was shot on the bypass that circles Statesboro in southeast Georgia.
A Superior Court judge Tuesday postponed a preliminary hearing for Wilson and imposed a gag order in the case the day after defense lawyers in the case held a news conference to give Wilson’s side of the story.
Attorney Francys Johnson told reporters Wilson, the son of a Black father and white mother, and his white girlfriend had just picked up food from a Taco Bell at about 12:30 a.m. when a pickup truck pulled alongside Wilson’s much smaller Ford Focus.
Johnson said young white men were “hanging out of the window, waving their arms” as they yelled racial slurs at the couple and shouted “your lives don’t matter.” He said the pickup’s driver tried to run Wilson off the road and some type of object struck Wilson’s car before Wilson fired his gun.
“Marc Wilson stood his ground, he shot back, he defended his life,” Johnson said. He said that if Wilson had been a white man defending himself against Black antagonists “he would have been given a medal and not given a prosecution.”
The Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, said he also fears that Georgia self-defense laws, which allow people to use deadly force when facing grave and imminent threats, haven’t been applied in Wilson’s case because of his race.
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