Plea deal arranged, denied in Chatham County double murder trial

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A double murder trial slowly continues at the Chatham County Courthouse on Friday.

The prosecution presented more witnesses for the 2013 murders of Forrest Ison and Alice Stevens in Thunderbolt.

Three experts in their fields are the final people to take the stand for the prosecution. The medical examiner revealed more about how the Thunderbolt couple were gunned down in their driveway.

"The manner was homicide. Cause of death, multiple gunshot wounds."

Medical examiner, Jamie Downs, says Forrest Ison was shot three times and Alice Stevens two times. He acted out that most of the gunshot wounds showed they were shot within just one to two feet away.

"Based on what I see there, I would put this on the back end of that range, so again, roughly out in that couple of feet," he said. "And for the record, you've got an arm almost touching me. You're about a half-body length away from me. That's correct."

Before that, the public defender offered a deal overnight to avoid Wilkins spending the rest of his life in prison.

"The potential penalties in this case, you could be looking at life without parole," said Chatham County Assistant Public Defender, Robert Attridge.

Wilkins denied the offer, and the state rejected the offer per the family's request.

"The family has been through a lot," said Chatham County Assistant District Attorney, Jerry Rothschild. "There was some soul searching they did and entirely to end it and not have to deal with appeals and have the certainty of it, they were on board. They aren't the ones to make the final decision, but I can't imagine making that decision without their significant input and blessing."

The case is also gaining national attention. You might have already seen it on an episode of "Locked Up" a few years ago. Now, a film crew is covering the trial for a separate documentary.

The trial is expected to start back up Saturday morning.

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