After hours of deliberations in the murder case of two men involved in a shootout outside an Augusta nightclub, a Richmond County Superior Court jury acquitted them of malice murder, finding them guilty only of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Marcus Washington, 23, and Devin Washington, 20, had pleaded not guilty in the July 5 shooting of Pr’Shawn Williams, 22. During the weeklong trial, each defendant claimed he fired only in self-defense.
Judge Sheryl B. Jolly declared a mistrial for one count in the indictment – felony murder against Devin Washington. The jury informed the judge it was deadlocked on that charge.
Immediately after the announcement of the verdicts, defense attorneys Jacque Hawk and Martin Puetz asked the judge to dismiss the weapon charge because there was no underlying conviction for another crime.
Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine opposed the motion, particularly for Devin Washington, because she intends to retry him on the charge of felony murder.
Jolly will hold a hearing next week to hear arguments on the issue.
The two men, who are not related, had exchanged gunfire at least once before in Aiken County, authorities said.
The night of July 5, both men and friends went to Alter Ego’z. After they got into a fight, they were asked to leave the club in the 1700 block of Gordon Highway.
Williams, who was with Devin Washington that night, was in his vehicle’s driver’s seat when the shooting started. Williams was also armed and fired several shots.