An Augusta man accused of murder pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter Thursday.
Bilal Givens, 19, pleaded in Richmond County Superior Court to his role in the 2016 slaying of 29-year-old Marion Terry.
Judge Daniel J. Craig rejected the negotiated plea of 10 years and instead sentenced Givens to three years in prison followed by 15 years on probation. Conditions of bond include a ban from Augusta the first three years of parole or probation and no contact with any gang member.
Givens told the judge that he was done with the gang life. After he was jailed on the murder charge, he never heard from his gang friends again, he said.
Terry was robbed and shot two weeks before his death, Assistant District Attorney Pete Lamb said. Terry believed Brittanie McKie set him up for the robbery, and on the night of May 14, 2016, he and Davante Parks went to exact revenge. They found McKie on the stoop of her Jennings Home apartment and shot her five times.
Givens told the judge that as he was driving up to McKie’s home, he saw Terry and Parks running away and then saw McKie. “I thought she was dead,” Givens said. Investigators contend he and Tra’quan Clay, 19, pursued Terry and Parks and exchanged gunfire. Terry’s body was found the next day.
Terry was married and holding down two jobs before he was killed, his family said.
Givens was 17 when he was arrested on the murder charges. He had an extensive juvenile record, the prosecutor said.
But the arrest and the possibility of life in prison changed him, Givens said. He was in the first GED class at the jail and graduated last spring.
“You can be so much better,” Craig told Givens, who responded, “I’m going to be better.”
Charges are pending against Clay.
Parks pleaded guilty to aggravated assault last month and received 12 years in prison followed by 13 years’ probation. Part of the reason his sentence was so long, the prosecutor said Thursday, is that Parks told so many lies that proving the murder case against Givens was questionable.