Mother has emotional encounter with daughter's accused killer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mother has emotional encounter with daughter's accused killer

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - The mother of a murder victim had an emotional encounter with the accused killer after a jury failed to convict him.

That jury acquitted Antonion Greenlee of one count and deadlocked on two others in the death of a 21-year old Bainbridge woman who was an innocent bystander when shots rang out after a gang fight.

One year ago, Barbara Williford lost her only child, 21-year-old Ebony Clark.

"I miss her a whole lot. I miss her laughter, her smile, I just miss her," said mother Barbara Williford.

Cell phone video of what investigators call a gang-related fight, was taken only a few minutes before Clark was shot in the head by a stray bullet and killed. She was an innocent bystander.

The murder suspect was Antonio Greenlee.After a four-day trial this week in Bainbridge, yesterday a hung jury sent him home, a free man.

It took nine hours of deliberation which covered two days of the trial for the jury to come to a verdict. They found Greenlee not guilty of malice murder. But on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault, the jury was split, 9 to 3.

A difficult case with no murder weapon, limited evidence, and few witnesses.

"That was the problem, you had streets filled with people that night but no one willing to tell us what happened. There were several 911 calls that night but no one gave a name," said District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

Still, Barbara feels closure.

"I spoke with the young man after the trial. I told him the court system didn't free him, God freed him. He gave him another chance. So I told him take that chance and use it for God's glory," said the victim's mother.

Words that brought the accused killer, to tears.

"He just started crying. There was so much hurt. I saw the tears and I knew if he did it, he's very sorry. And if he didn't, I told him to go on, and live," said the strong mother.

Barbara says her faith is what gets her through, and allows her to forgive whoever it is that killed her daughter.

"People don't understand, but see I know Jesus, I know who he is," said Williford almost in tears.

Now she wants her daughter's death to be a light, to help guide someone else along the right path.

"In our community gang activity is growing and I want people to watch their kids and not let what happened to my Ebony happen to someone else's child," she said.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland left it up to the Ebony Clark's mother Barbara to decide whether or not they take the case back to trial on the other two charges.

Barbara said they are not going to do that, she said emotionally she handle going through another trial.

Ebony Clark left behind a little boy.

He's 16 months old and living with Barbara Williford. She led a rally in Downtown Bainbridge against gang violence in her daughter's honor this week.

She plans to make the rally an annual event.

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