Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Killer gets maximum sentence as story fails to sway judge

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NEW PORT RICHEY — During his murder trial, Marcus Wilson tearfully portrayed himself a victim of sexual molestation. Jurors still convicted him, but of a lesser charge — manslaughter.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Circuit Judge William Webb expressed his opinion.

"The defendant is lying, in my estimation," the judge said. "He lied to make himself look better. He lied to cover up this killing."

And with that, Webb gave the 20-year-old Clearwater man the maximum prison sentence allowed by law — 30 years.

Wilson had maintained that he killed Christopher Martin, 30, because he woke up to find the older man performing oral sex on him on a bench at Starkey Wilderness Park on Mother's Day 2012. The two men had been drinking.

Despite prosecutors' assertion the men had maintained an intimate relationship in the past, Wilson said the act shocked and angered him. He attacked.

"I kicked him," Wilson said during his trial. "He tripped over his own legs and fell."

Prosecutors said Wilson killed Martin with a single bullet to the back of his head. Wilson said Martin was reaching for a gun on his hip. There were no witnesses to the shooting. He took the guns, $40 and Martin's white Dodge SUV. Deputies found the car and items later at Wilson's house in Clearwater.

On Friday, his friends and family gathered in the courtroom. One said he was a kind man who wanted to be a Marine. Another said he reads Scripture daily and is remorseful for what he did.

Wilson's lawyer, assistant public defender Dean Livermore, asked Webb for a light sentence, saying Wilson had no prior record.

But prosecutor Chris Labruzzo asked for the maximum.

"It was an execution,'' Labruzzo said.

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