20-year-old convicted of murder

A young Augusta man who shot his best friend to death was convicted of murder Wednesday and sentenced to life in prison plus five years.

The Richmond County Superior Court jury deliberated about two hours before finding Michael O. Faulks, 20, guilty of murder and a weapons violation in the Jan. 4, 2009, slaying of 22-year-old Jamar White.

Assistant District Attorney Falin Rogers said Thursday there was no evidence the two friends were in any dispute before the shooting. That night, White knocked on Faulks' River Glen apartment door; Faulks opened the door and shot White.

The physical evidence revealed the gun barrel was pressed against White's body when the shot was fired, Rogers said.

Ballistics testing wasn't possible because the bullet was too damaged and no shell casing was recovered, Rogers said. But a 9 mm handgun found at Faulks' home is the suspected murder weapon, she said.

Faulks, who has been held in jail since his arrest Jan. 10, 2009, had no prior felony conviction.