Albany man in court for murder trial after deadly 2015 hotel shooting

Albany man in court for murder trial after hotel deadly shooting in 2015

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -Marquel Culpepper is now before a Dougherty County jury for a murder trial, after prosecutors said he shot and killed Kendrick Miller, 38, outside of America’s Best Value Inn in Albany, back in 2015.

Wednesday officially marked day three in this murder trial. Monday was jury selection, and Tuesday was opening statements, but the nuts and bolts of this trial happened Wednesday morning.

Several detectives, Albany Police officers, and GBI examiners have been called in as witnesses in this trial.

Marquel "Chad" Culpepper is charged with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault for a 2015 fatal shooting (Source: Dougherty County Jail)
Marquel "Chad" Culpepper is charged with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault for a 2015 fatal shooting (Source: Dougherty County Jail)

Each of them recalling what happen at the former America's Best Value Inn on North Slappey Boulevard in 2015.

Prosecutors said Culpepper shot Miller outside the hotel lobby where they both had been staying.

Detectives added the former America’s Best Value Inn was a place where drug dealers and prostitutes stayed before it was knocked down after this shooting.

The hotel owner and other witnesses also testified on what took place even down to the final moment of the deadly shooting.

One woman who was the clerk at the hotel the night of the shooting, was emotional and said she saw the entire incident with her own eyes.

“I seen a shadow come past the window and when I looked up through the double doors, I saw Chad and he did have a camouflage book bag on his back,” said Clarissa Hylick, employee at the former America’s Best Value Inn.

Hylick said she called Miller to the front office to pay for his room at the hotel.

Hylick stated this was a normal routine, for Miller and other patrons, to pay outside of the lobby at night.

But Hylick said on April 16, 2015, she and Miller were having their normal conversation and that’s when she said she saw Marquel “Chad” Culpepper come up to Miller and immediately fire a weapon.

“I looked up and he actually said ‘don’t shoot me.’ And I saw him back away and it was happening so fast, that I actually wasn’t thinking that at that point, I just stood there and was kind of shocked,” said Hylick.

Hylick also said after shots were fired, that’s when she ran to the bathroom and called 911 about what happened. She said when officers arrived, she told them who she saw fired at Miller.

​Defense attorneys argued that during the 911 call, Hylick didn’t describe a specific person during the call.

Hylick stated that was because terrified in the restroom thinking Culpepper would come after her.

However she testified and said when Albany Police arrived on scene, she identified Culpepper as the shooter.

“I remember seeing the gun was already out at that point. And when Kendrick looked up, he actually said don’t shoot me. And I saw him back away and it was happening so fast,” said Hylick.

Attorneys did ask Hylick how she knew Culpepper was the shooter and said, because she saw him before when he came down to the lobby asking for toilet paper and claims he wasn’t friendly.

The hotel owner also testified in this trial and said Culpepper did stay at the hotel from time to time.

Judge Darrisaw said closing arguments will be made Thursday and a verdict should follow.

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