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Black college student charged with murder says he was standing his ground

William Marcus Wilson’s defense attorneys believe he wouldn’t be facing charges if he was white.

William Marcus Wilson AJC

A Black college student is facing felony murder and aggravated assault charges for the shooting death of a white high school student, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On June 14, 21-year-old William Marcus Wilson and his girlfriend were out for a late Taco Bell run. They were reportedly harassed by a group of white people in a black Chevrolet Silverado. Francys Johnson, Wilson’s attorney, said that the group began to call her client’s white girlfriend a “n*gger lover” and screamed, “Your lives don’t matter.”

The group in the Silverado then tried to run Wilson’s Ford Focus off the road. Once he heard something strike his car, he grabbed his gun and shot at the truck. Records released by the Statesboro Police Department show that two to three shots were fired. One of those bullets traveled through the truck’s rear window and struck 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson in the head. She later died at a local hospital.

Wilson turned himself in on June 17 and has been held in the Bulloch County jail since. Members of Wilson’s legal team have expressed their outrage that police have omitted their client’s self-defense claims from their investigation. They also believe that if he was white, being chased by Black men, he wouldn’t be charged or in jail.

“Make no mistake about it,” Johnson told reporters on Monday (July 6). “We believe that 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, that he would have been given a medal and not given a prosecution.”

Police told the AJC last week that eyewitness accounts point away from a “stand your ground” scenario. “There are different people with different views of what happened, and who said what,” Statesboro Police Chief Mike Broadhead said. “I think it would be unfair to the defendant in this case for us to make comments that support or don’t support the statements that he made, or that other people made. Those things need to come out in the courtroom.”

Luke Harry Conley, one of the boys in the truck, is facing an obstruction charge for allegedly withholding information during the investigation. He also tried to get his friends to do the same.

Wilson has a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday (July 7).

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