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Day 2 in Marc Wilson hearing: Attorney found in contempt of court

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - A hearing for a murder suspect in Bulloch County has the judge tossing a lawyer out of the courtroom while the lawyer says the judge should be removed from the case.

Attorneys for Marc Wilson want the murder case against him thrown out on the grounds of self-defense. He’s accused of shooting at a moving truck in 2020, killing a young woman inside.

Wilson says the truck was trying to run him off the road. If day one of Marc Wilson’s hearing was methodical and procedural, day two was emotional and eventful.

Wilson’s then-girlfriend Emma Rigdon described how she and Wilson had gone out for drive thru back in June 2020. She says the truck in which Haley Hutcheson was a passenger followed them through several traffic lights on Statesboro’s bypass.

She testified she was frightened and feared the worst when the truck veered into their lane several times while the young men inside waved and gestured.

“It’s in the middle of the night. There’s no lights on that road. I didn’t really know what was going to happen,” said witness Emma Rigdon.

She said Wilson fired his gun toward the truck and yelled for them to back off.

Defense attorneys had called three witnesses to the stand before the mid-day break. Then suddenly a heated exchange began between Judge Michael Muldrew and defense attorney Francys Johnson.

It involved one of the prosecution’s evidence notebooks. The judge contended he was given the wrong binder for review and was attempting to send it back to prosecutors when it was given to Johnson by mistake. Johnson refused to relinquish the notebook and wanted the transfer noted in the court records. Muldrew ordered him in contempt of court. The defense countered by filing motions to recuse Muldrew from the hearing and the case.

“With the motion to recuse, the court would have no other dealings with this case until such time as the reviewing court either keeps it or sends it back to this court,” said Judge Muldrew.

Attorney Francys Johnson was released from custody at the courthouse. There was no timetable given for when another judge will hear the recusal and when this hearing would resume.

There’s one other man charged in connection to this case. Luke Conley, one of the witnesses in this week’s hearing, is also facing obstruction charges in connection to the case.

He was a passenger in the truck where Hutcheson was killed. He took the stand Wednesday but invoked his 5th amendment rights not to answer.

Conley was charged after investigators say his story changed during questioning about Hutcheson’s death.

A WTOC investigation found a month before Hutchenson was killed, Conley was arrested on charges of DUI and hit-and-run.

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