Decision comes down in 2013 double murder trial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Decision comes down in 2013 double murder trial

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Albany District Attorney Greg Edwards (Source: WALB) Albany District Attorney Greg Edwards (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A jury found two defendants not guilty on Friday in a 2013 double murder trial.

Desmond Warren and Harrell Lorenzo Hicks were on trial for the shooting death of William Davis and Desmond Williams.

Warren and Hicks were both found not guilty on each of their 26 counts in the case.

But, two more men are still awaiting trial for the murders. 

Condel Benyard, along with Maurice Jimmerson, are awaiting trial for the murder of two men in what prosecutors say was a gang-related shooting.

Prosecutors believe "definitively" that both Benyard and Jimmerson were the active shooters.

"The state believes that we presented evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals were involved in the circumstance as parties to the crime," said Edwards. 

Prosecutors claimed the defendants were part of the Westside Rattlers gang, and fired off more than 50 bullets during a drive-by shooting, killing the two victims in the street.

Warren and Hicks were charged with murder, aggravated assault, and street gang terrorism.

Edwards said he hasn't spoke to the jurors about their decision, but believes they were influenced by a legal issue early on in the trial.

"The state thinks that was a deciding factor of probably an influential fact," said Edwards. 

Jimmerson is believed to be the fourth shooter and is facing the same 26 charges.

So is Benyard, the accused fifth shooter who was arrested later for the same charges after prosecutors learned more about the incident.

Edwards said the evidence presented in this trial will be different from the next trial.

"We believe hopefully that the family and victims in this instance will receive justice as this case progresses," said Edwards.

Edwards said both Hicks and Warren were taken back to jail with pending charges of allegedly engaging in riots at the Dougherty County Jail.

The trial for Jimmerson and Benyard will be determined at a later date. 

Jawaski Kennedy stood trial in October 2016 for his role in the shootings.

More on the case:
+Willard Ave. murder suspects make first appearance
+Murder suspect's mom pleads for more investigation
+Most Willard Ave. murder trials delayed

+Two more stand trial for 2013 double murder
+Murder trial hits a snag when witness won't testify
+Gang specialist testifies in murder trial
+Second gang specialist testifies in double murder trial
+Closing arguments delivered, jury deliberates in Albany double murder trial

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