top of page

William "Marcus" Wilson Updates

Bulloch Co. judge denies immunity for Marc Wilson, jury selection to begin April 18

Marc Wilson confers with one of his attorneys before day two of the immunity hearing begins.

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A judge has made a decision in the immunity hearing for Marc Wilson in Statesboro. He’s accused of shooting a teenage girl riding in a truck beside him on the road back in 2020.

His attorneys were asking the judge to throw out the charges on claims of self-defense.

Judge Ronald Thompson denied immunity for Marc Wilson on Friday in the shooting death of Haley Hutcheson. However, he immediately granted a bond hearing to let defense attorneys ask again for bond. Bond was granted, with stipulations.

Judge Thompson set a trial date as well. Jury selection will begin April 18.

Throughout the hearing, defense attorneys and prosecutors offered glaringly different interpretations of what happened that night and whether Wilson was justified in firing the shots that killed Haley Hutcheson.

Defense attorney Francys Johnson contends that the people with Hutcheson that night are more responsible for her death than Wilson. He says Wilson fired warning shots in response to the reckless driving of the truck beside him and the aggressive racial taunts that made Wilson fear for his safety and his passenger’s.

“The law in Georgia says there’s no duty to retreat, no duty to pull over on the side of the road, no duty to call police, no duty to pray to God, no duty to do anything but stand your ground and exercise a level of force to include deadly force,” Johnson said.

One of Wilson’s bullets struck Hutcheson through the trucks back window. He says that shows that the truck wasn’t chasing Wilson, but that Wilson kept driving beside them when he didn’t’ have to.

“All you’ve got to do is take your foot off the gas. I’m not talking about slamming on brakes and going the other way. Just take your foot off the gas and let them go and all of this is over,” Assistant District Attorney Barclay Black said.

Johnson urged the courts to take into account racial issues happening around the country during that time for the context of what Wilson could have feared would happen to him.


Wilson’s 2nd immunity hearing completes first of 3 slated days

William Marcus "Marc" Wilson, left, takes his place as his defense team confers with one another during his immunity hearing on Wednesday, March 2. Wilson, who faces one charge of felony murder and five charges of aggravated assault and a charge of possessing a firearm while committing a felony in the death of Haley Hutcheson, is seeking immunity from prosecution on the basis of a "stand your ground" self-defense claim. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The second attempted hearing on Marc Wilson’s request for immunity from a murder charge for killing 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson in 2020 got underway Wednesday in Bulloch County Superior Court, where newly assigned Judge Ronald K. “Ronnie” Thompson kept things moving rapidly.

Black Man’s Claim to Stand Your Ground In Limbo as Supporters Say Girl He Killed Was Trying to Run Him Off the Road In a Drunken, Racist Rage

The family of William Marcus Wilson, 23, has been on an emotional roller coaster ever since June of 2020 when he turned himself in for the death of Haley Hutcheson, 17. Wilson has been incarcerated for 18 months and counting awaiting trial. He is claiming self-defense based on Georgia’s stand your ground law.

On June 14, 2020, Wilson, who is biracial, was driving with his girlfriend in Statesboro, Georgia, which is about 60 miles northwest of Savannah. Wilson says as he was driving, a pickup truck with four white people inside, including Hutcheson, were allegedly intoxicated and taunted Wilson with racist slurs and the driver nearly drove Wilson off the road. Wilson responded by firing his gun toward the truck, killing Hutcheson.

“The law is, you can use deadly force when in imminent danger or you have probable cause, or you have probable cause to suspect you are in imminent danger,” James Woodall said of Georgia’s stand your ground law. Woodall is the coordinator for A Just Georgia Coalition and public policy associate for the Southern Center for Human Rights; he is also president of the Georgia NAACP.

According to Georgia law, rules surrounding stand your ground allows a person to use deadly force to protect him or herself, others or their property, which includes a vehicle if they feel their life is in danger.

“Marc can defend himself under Georgia’s law, there is a provision within Georgia’s stand your ground statute that says he has no duty to retreat, meaning he has no duty to deescalate his use of force simply because there may be an opportunity for him to do so,” Woodall said of Wilson’s claim to stand your ground.

On august 18, 2020, Judge Michael Mildrew denied Wilson bond for the murder charge and aggravated assault charges. Wilson’s fight for justice became more complicated as a squabble ensued between the state prosecutor, Judge Mildrew and Wilson’s defense attorneys.

In September, at an immunity from prosecution hearing on the stand your ground motion, Wilson’s defense lawyers claim improper communication took place between state prosecutors and Judge Mildrew.

Wilson’s defense team wants Judge Mildrew to recuse himself from the case because of the alleged improper communication but so far, no judge has determined if a recusal is necessary and since the immunity hearing was inconclusive, no judgment has been made on Wilson’s stand your ground motion.

“There’s nothing else that can be done right now because you don’t have another judge assigned to this case while this recusal process is playing out,” Woodall said of the ex parte communication and recusal.

Meanwhile, as Wilson’s defense team battles his case within the court system, his supporters question how much his race plays into his stand your ground defense. “There are two particular points within the statute that cause for concern when it comes to racial disparity, one is what is reasonable. What we struggle with is, is it reasonable for a Black person to defend themselves against a racist white person,” Woodall said.


“We don’t understand why justice was so hard to come by for someone who looks different who has brown skin, we don’t understand this is how it has to be,” said the Wilson’s sister, Chelsea Burnett, who also lamented at a November press conference the difficulty of living without her brother for a year and a half.

bottom of page