Marc Wilson trial continues with autopsy and toxicology reports, expert witnesses

Haley Hutcheson, 17, had a small amount of alcohol in her blood the night she died, but so little she would not have been drunk, a toxicologist testified Thursday in the murder trial of William Marcus “Marc ” Wilson.

But investigators never ordered alcohol tests on the four young survivors who were in the pickup with Hutcheson, including the driver, who made various statements about how much alcohol he had to drink .

Thursday was the second day — or fourth if the two days of jury selection counted — of Wilson’s trial in Bulloch County Superior Court on a felony charge of murder for Hutcheson’s death, five-way charges charges for shooting at her and the other occupants of the truck and a charge of possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Chief Assistant District Attorney Barclay Black continued to lay out the prosecution case, along with the autopsy report and a series of expert witnesses. Wilson’s defense attorneys cross-examined these witnesses and pointed out things the Statesboro Police and the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office did not do in exploring other avenues.

Thursday’s first testimony was actually a continuation of the questioning of Wednesday’s last witness, Mason Glisson, now 20, of Claxton. He was 18 when the shooting happened on the night of June 13-14, 2020, as he drove the other then-teens around Veterans Memorial Parkway in his kit-equipped four-door Chevrolet pickup truck. lifting.

He and the two young men in the truck, Ashton Deloach and Luke Conley, all friends, had picked up the two young women, Hutcheson and Macie Neagley, whom Glisson and Deloach testified they barely knew, at Massey Oil Company in Hagan , the neighboring town of Claxton. All underage, they stopped at a convenience store on their way to Statesboro to buy beer and, according to reports, had a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra Infusion and containers of another fermented drink with them. They drove to the home of another young woman in Hopeulikit and visited the Parker convenience store on the ring road so the women had access to the restrooms before walking down Northside Drive East from Statesboro in search of a late meal. evening.

But in that pandemic summer they found McDonald’s closed and Waffle House only serving take-out, so they headed back towards Claxton, turning right onto the ring road. It was then, around 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2020, that they had the encounter that turned deadly with Wilson, who was driving a Ford Focus accompanied by his then-girlfriend Emma Rigdon and his little dog, on the way back to Rigdon’s apartment from Taco Bell.

The driver’s beers

When asked Wednesday, under direct examination by Black for the prosecution, how many beers he drank that night and that night, Glisson gave an indefinite answer.

“At least two or three,” he said. “I don’t know exactly how many I had.”

Glisson also said he had not been intoxicated and repeated this during cross-examination by one of Wilson’s defense attorneys, Mawuli Davis.

However, Davis confronted Glisson with statements he had made in police interviews and previous hearings in the case spanning from June 2020 to the spring of 2022. In a passage that Davis highlighted from transcript of a hearing from August 18, 2020, Glisson had denied that he swerved on the road that night and said, “Five or so beers doesn’t even make me drunk at all.”

Thursday, he explained that he had “drank max, six beers” over six or seven hours.

Davis had conducted a similar cross-examination of Deloach on Wednesday, but on his statements that he did not know whether occupants of the truck had put their hands out the window or “run over” the occupants of Wilson’s car.

Glisson was never charged with any violation of the law in connection with the events of that night, and none of the occupants of the truck were charged with underage drinking. Statesboro police charged Conley with misdemeanor obstruction of justice after he allegedly changed his story during the investigation. He has previously asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in the Wilson case and as of Thursday was not called to the stand in the trial.

Sometimes, Wednesday and Thursday, a photo of Glisson’s black van, sitting outside the East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he drove Hutcheson after she was shot, lingered on video screens in the hall. hearing. Other photos showed the rear window of the truck, which featured images of a bird dog head in profile and a flock of ducks, with a hole, the bullet hole, through the dog’s mouth near the center of the glass. A photo of the interior showed the hole as well as a burst pattern.

autopsy report

But the images that caused sobs in the courtroom are those of the autopsy. To introduce them, Black introduced Dr. Joani Skipper, associate pathologist with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, as an expert forensic witness.

Photos of Hutcheson’s lifeless body showed a red Skipper wound described as “ovoid” on the right rear part of his head, behind his right ear. An X-ray image showed this entry wound and where the bullet was retrieved, inside the front left portion of his head, having passed through his brain, as Skipper testified.

Haley Hutcheson’s father, Dusty Hutcheson, keeps his head bowed and the Bible close as his wife Allison keeps a handkerchief nearby as GBI medical examiner Joni Skipper testifies to Haley’s death as the murder trial of William Marcus ÒMarcÓ Wilson linked to the death of Haley Hutcheson continues Thursday, August 25.
– photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

She said speckled wounds that appeared on Hutcheson’s head and arms may have been caused by shards of glass.

“The way to die, in this case, is homicide,” Skipper said when asked by Black.

But when Nefertara Clark, another of Wilson’s lawyers, cross-examined her, Skipper clarified that “homicide” to a medical examiner is a medical term, not a legal one, and only means that death was caused by another person.

The bullet itself was introduced into evidence on Thursday, as was Wilson’s Taurus 9mm pistol, which he and his lead defense attorney, Francys Johnson, turned over to police when Wilson surrendered on June 17, 2020. .

“Little or no effect”

It was another expert witness for the prosecution, GBI forensic toxicologist Carla Turner, who testified that Hutcheson’s post-mortem blood alcohol level was 0.02 grams per 100 milliliters, with a level of accuracy of plus or minus 0.001.

“I would expect it to have very little to no effect on someone,” Turner said. She agreed with Black that this meant Hutcheson was not intoxicated.

The only other drugs in his system were likely administered during the unsuccessful rescue measures at the hospital and an “unreportable” level of acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever, Turner reported.

When Clark asked, Turner said that to her knowledge, she had never been asked to test blood samples from the other occupants of the truck. Two Statesboro police detectives also admitted in testimony Thursday that they never ordered toxicology tests on Glisson and the three surviving passengers.

In nothing heard on the first two days of the trial or in previous hearings, no one denied that Wilson fired his pistol up to five times that night or testified that Hutcheson, who was 17, had personally done or say anything about him.

But Wilson, now 23, who is biracial, claims through his defense attorneys that he was defending himself and Rigdon, who is white, from a racist attack, including slurs, throwing beer cans and aggressive driving by the occupants of a truck.

The prosecution had not yet closed its case Thursday and the trial was scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. Friday.

Elna M. Lemons