The man who shot and killed aspiring Macon area rap artist Markese "Pain City" Mahone was found guilty of murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony Tuesday night.
It took jurors four and a half hours before announcing that Derrick Harvey was guilty of both counts before Liberty County Superior Court Judge Charles P. Rose.
Harvey will be sentenced during a hearing in about 30 days.
The trial started Monday afternoon in the Liberty County Justice Center. By midday Tuesday the state, led by Atlantic Judicial Assistant District Attorney Hugh Ridgway, had rested its case.
Soon after, the defense rested after Harvey decided not to take the stand. The jury began deliberations around 3 p.m.
The trial finally brought to light what happened to Mahone, who was found dead by police officers at the Days Inn in Flemington in October 2014.
Evidence and an autopsy by GBI Medical Examiner Dr. Edmond Donohue, indicated Mahone bled out after suffering a shotgun blast to his left shoulder and chest, causing significant damage to his heart, arteries and lungs.
Donohue said the pellets entered in a downward pattern, as if Mahone was shot from above.
Based on testimony from two other co-defendants, that fateful day was a robbery that didn’t go as planned.
The day after Mahone was found lifeless, co-defendant Julous Mathenia turned himself in to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. According to his testimony and a voluntarily written statement given to LCSO lead detective Julie Buttress, Mathenia drove James Stumps and Harvey to the motel, knowing they intended to rob someone. He pulled into a nearby parking lot, and parked his Chevy Impala. Mathenia said he waited in his car while Harvey and Stumps walked to the hotel.
Mathenia said he heard a gunshot, turned on the car and started to pull away, when he saw Harvey and Stumps running toward him in a mirror. He stopped, let them jump in and drove off.
Stumps testimony later corroborated Mathenia’s account. Stumps added that he and Harvey went to the Days Inn intending to rob someone in room 419. Stumps said no one answered the door at hotel room, so they turned and saw a man sitting on a stairwell.
Stumps said the man appeared to be talking on a cell phone. Stumps said Harvey told him to see if all was clear. Harvey then walked over to the man and said, "What you got bro?"
Stumps testified that the man, later identified as Mahone, started running down the stairs. Stumps said Harvey pointed the shotgun over the stair rail and pulled the trigger. Stumps said he ran when he heard the shot.
At first, Mathenia testified that he had not seen a weapon. Later he testified there was a shotgun and that Harvey carried the gun.
Buttress testified Harvey had willingly given his confession and that she believed he did not intend to kill Mahone.
Harvey also wrote a confession, which was presented at trial.
Stumps and Mathenia entered plea agreements in November and December, respectively. Mathenia was sentenced to serve 5 years in prison followed by 5 years probation for criminal attempt to commit a felony. Stumps was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation for voluntary manslaughter and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Both also agreed to testify against Harvey.
Harvey’s attorney, Scott Brannen, told the jurors his client was innocent and the state lacked evidence to prove Harvey was the trigger man.
He said the shotgun was never found. He said there was no fingerprints recovered at the scene. He said Harvey, 19 at the time, has only a sixth grade education and was not fully aware of his rights during his interview with detectives. He said his client thought if he told police what they wanted to hear he would get a reduced charge.
He said the investigation found shotgun casings and live ammunition at Stumps’ home, not Harvey’s.
Brannen said Mathenia and Stumps were simply implicating his client and that he thinks Stumps carried the gun and shot Mahone.
The attorney also noted discrepancies in Mathenia’s testimony about the shotgun. He said Mathenia testified Harvey ran and jumped into the back seat of his car with the gun. However, Stumps testified he jumped in the back seat and Harvey jumped in the front passenger side. Brannen also pointed out that at the time of the killing, witnesses described a man with dreadlocks. Stumps had said he had long dreadlocks in 2014.
Brannen said all that left sufficient reasonable doubt.
The jurors revisited the evidence twice during deliberations, asking the judge to review Harvey’s written statement to Buttress.