A Sharpsburg man accused of murder in Statesboro will have a preliminary hearing on July 7.
Until then, the Statesboro Police Department isn’t releasing many details on what led up to the shooting, which killed 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson.
William Marcus Wilson, 21, has been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. He turned himself in June 17. He is being held without bond in the Bulloch County Jail.
While official news reports say little about what happened, other than Wilson is alleged to have shot at the vehicle that Hutcheson was traveling in, other online reports give more details.
A petition on Change.org says that Wilson, who is Black, was out with his girlfriend when he and his girlfriend were called racial slurs by a group of white teens. Wilson and his girlfriend decided to leave the area and the teens followed, screaming racial slurs. The petition alleges the teens tried to run Wilson off the road, and he fired a warning shot at the vehicle.
The petition also states, incorrectly, that the incident began in Sharpsburg. It actually happened in Statesboro, just after midnight on June 14.
Wilson’s attorney, Francys Johnson of Statesboro, released a statement on the case.
“The investigation into what really happened on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway is far from over. Each day brings new information about the decedent and actions of the occupants of the vehicle that may have contributed to this tragic incident. Our independent investigation is benefitting tremendously from the information provided to our office by persons in the community.”
In the statement, Johnson urges the community not to rush to judgment in the case.
When asked about the allegations included in the online reports, Statesboro Police Captain Jared Atkins said the department would not be “touching on motive” until the July 7 hearing. There has been significant investigation work done, and rather than trying to confirm or deny specific reports, Atkins said investigators will wait until the court hearing.
“That is when you will hear a lot more detail in terms of the case,” he said.
Atkins said that the department has seen many of the same internet posts that others have seen, and they’ve received phone calls from people with questions. A lot of the things people ask about are “either untrue or a conflated account based on what two or three people saw,” he said.
The department is saying that there was an interaction between the two vehicles, and it began at an intersection. “From what we can understand, the shots fired came after that,” Atkins said.
Veterans Memorial Parkway is Statesboro’s bypass, Atkins said. While some sections of the road have commercial development, the area where the shooting occurred is marshy, with no development.
The interaction between the two vehicles took place at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Brannen Street, a commercial area, and the shooting occurred near the intersection with Fair Road, approximately two miles away.
The incident report lists four witnesses – three white males, all age 18, and one “restricted” witness, apparently a juvenile. One of them, Luke Conley, is listed, along with Wilson, in the “incident report suspect list.” The incident report lists a charge of murder and misdemeanor obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Conley is listed in the June 16 arrest log by the Statesboro Herald as being charged with obstruction.
The only vehicle listed in the report is a 2005 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, registered to a woman with the same last name as one of the witnesses.
Wilson’s attorney said in the statement that the family is grateful for the support they have received during the difficult time. Marcus Wilson is the son of Coweta Fire Chief Deron “Pat” Wilson, who is currently on family leave.