A jury took less than 40 minutes to find Nicholas Sante Bacon guilty of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and felony gun possession charges on Tuesday. The trial spanned over two days and included a long list of witnesses.
Bacon stood accused of killing his mother, Montez Bacon, March 3, 2017. The state gave a rundown of what happened the day Montez Bacon was killed during the opening statements. Nicholas Bacon was represented by Public Defender Allison Lane and claimed the death of his mother was merely an accident.
“Nicholas Bacon did not kill his mother,” Lane told the jury in her opening statement. “What happened that day was an accident.”
The trial detailed on the morning of March 3, 2017, Montez Bacon picked up her son to go to the plasma donating center in Savannah, something they did twice a week. The state called its first witness who worked at the center where they donated plasma that day. The witness testified she did not work that day and did not see any altercation between the two on video when reviewed by detectives the next day.
The second witness for the state was a former patrol officer from Savannah. She testified that she was dispatched to a possible domestic dispute on Abercorn Street in Savannah. Upon arriving on the scene, Montez Bacon was outside of the vehicle.
“She just wanted him to get out of the car,” the officer testified. “She looked like she was scared but didn’t want to admit it.”
The state then presented the officer’s body cam footage as evidence for the jury. In the video, Montez Bacon wanted her son out of the vehicle.
“Can you guys call him a taxi?” Montez Bacon asked officers.
“Is she going to pay for it?” Nicholas Bacon can be heard asking on the video.
Neither Montez Bacon nor her son would disclose to the officerwhat the argument was over, and the body cam footage showed Bacon sitting on the back passenger side of the vehicle. Bacon was visibly having a hard time watching the video in court and continued looking down.
Because Bacon had not committed a crime, law enforcement in Savannah advised Montez Bacon to drive her son back into Liberty County .
The third witness called to the stand was Montez Bacon’s brother, Andrew Smith. He testified he received a phone call from his sister when she was on Highway 204 and informed him of the situation. He was on the way to meet her when he came in contact with her vehicle.
“I saw her son Nicholas walking away from the vehicle,” Smith said.
Video from the Fleming Shortcut Convenience store showed Montez Bacon’s vehicle veer right before running into a structure outside of the store. It also showed Bacon getting out the vehicle with his book bag and walking off.
Andrew Smith and other witnesses from the store testified that they saw Montez Bacon slumped to the left and started CPR until EMS got there. Smith testified he thought she might have had a heart attack. It was later discovered she had a gunshot wound to her right shoulder.
Bacon was picked up by the Liberty County Sheriff’s office while walking away from the scene.
“I tried to figure out who he was, but he wouldn’t tell me,” the Deputy testified.
When apprehended, in Bacon’s book bag was a pistol with five .380 caliber rounds and one round in the chamber that would later match the shell casing found under the driver’s seat of Montez Bacon’s vehicle.
Georgia Bureau of Investigations Medical Examiner Dr. Edmund Donoghue testified the bullet traveled down and left, pierced her lung, and aorta. He also testified it was an intermediate gunshot wound.
When Nicholas Bacon took the stand in his defense, he testified the day was just like any other day. He said he would sit in the backseat of his mother’s car because of her driving habits.
“She would sometimes run red lights or commit traffic violations,” Bacon testified.
Bacon said he did not have a disagreement with his mom on Highway 204 and could not recall the circumstances of why his mother called 911.
When entering Liberty County he testified he was plundering through his book bag and carried a gun on his right leg. He said took the gun out of the holster and then the vehicle made a swift left turn and his hand accidentally discharged the gun.
He testified he assumed the safety was on and described him and his mom being very close. When cross - examined by the prosecution, Ridgway asked if it was an accident why didn’t he help her and why did he walk away. He testified he was in shock.
In the closing arguments, Lane told the jury there was no direct evidence that the death of Montez Bacon was more than an accident. She said the state had been making the case on circumstantial evidence.
In Ridgway’s closing argument, he used Bacon’s lack of remorse and failing to aid his mother as to why his mom’s death was not an accident, but murder.
“He pulled that trigger and shot his mother,” Ridgway told the jury. “Nicholas Bacon had taken that gun and walked up the street. If this was an accident he would have done something, but in this case there is no remorse.”