With two men pointing the finger at each other as being the one who shot a man to death in the early morning of Oct. 2, 2011, a Richmond County Superior Court jury’s verdict left neither responsible for the homicide.
After deliberating for several hours, the jury returned a verdict Friday finding Chad Walker, 22, guilty of criminal attempt to commit robbery and two weapon offenses.
That no one will be held accountable for killing their 29-year-old son, Buchanan Marshall, broke his parents’ hearts yet again, they said.
“It’s tearing us apart,” Susan Marshall said of the thought that Walker and Mikell Thomas will one day be free again.
Last week, Thomas, who was 15 the night Marshall was killed, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and received a 20-year prison sentence. He agreed to testify against Walker and did so this week.
It was a difficult case with scant evidence, and the statements made by Walker and Thomas meant the two had to be tried separately, said Assistant District Attorney Sam Nicholson. He asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence possible for Walker.
Judge Michael N. Annis sentenced Walker to a total of 40 years, the maximum possible.
Assistant Public Defender Jimmy Walker asked the judge to consider a lesser sentence considering the jury’s apparent decision not to believe Thomas’ description of Walker as the triggerman.
No one may ever know the whole truth about Marshall’s death and it sadden him that Walker’s sentence won’t start the healing process for his parents, Annis said.