Verdict reached in Castille murder trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Verdict reached in Castille murder trial

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
A verdict has been reached in the trial of a Columbus trio accused of killing a police informant. 

Daphne Castille, her son Jamal Castille, and godson Dantrell Marshall have all been found guilty of violating the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act in connection to the 2008 murder of Castille's cousin and police informant 20-year-old David Coleman. 

Authorities claim the group was involved in trafficking illegal drugs, armed bank robbery, gang affiliation and murder.

Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, Chief Assistant District Attorney and head prosecutor Alonza Whitaker said it was a bittersweet, confusing verdict. 
 
"Because we proceeded under the RICO statue, I think it might have been a little confusing,"  Whitaker said. 

Here's how it works:  

1. The trio faced three predicate charges under the RICO statue: Murder, trafficking, and armed robbery.

2. The jury only needed to find the defendants guilty of two of those predicate charges to declare them guilty of violating the RICO act all together. 

Both Daphne and Jamal Castille were found guilty of all three predicate charges. Marshall was found guilty of two predicate charges: trafficking and armed robbery. However, the group faced separate charges of Malice Murder, Felony murder, and armed robbery. 

"The jury did not find them guilty of the actual count of murder or the actual count of armed robbery. Because we proceeded with the RICO Act, I believe it could've been a little confusing," Whitaker said.

The group dodged a possible sentence of life without parole and is now only facing a possible five to 20 year sentence.

Whitaker said they planed to ask for the maximum time be given during sentencing on August 25th.  

"We feel justice is going to be served with these people off the street," Whitaker said.

A fourth suspect, Terrell Mars, accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against the others.

[RELATED: Prosecution and Defense rest in Coleman murder trial

Fourth murder suspect testifies in Castille/Marshall murder trial]

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