Jessie Murray (Photo source: Davis-Bozeman Law Firm)

When it comes to race and the stand your ground law in Georgia, there seems to be a separate level of proof that must be reached. This week the trial ended for Jessie Murray, a Black man who was beaten while trying to rescue his wife from four drunken White men. During the beating, his gun went off killing Nathaniel Adams, a former police officer. The judge in the case felt that Murray was not in fear for his life when being beaten by four drunk White men in Georgia.

In denying Murray the use of the stand your ground defense, the judge stated, “nor does it appear to this court that the other men in the vicinity were acting in such a way that would cause the defendant to reasonably believe that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or a third party.”

Davis-Bozeman legal team (Photo Source: Davis-Bozeman Law Firm)

Noted social activist attorney Mawuli Davis, partner Davis Bozeman Law Firm, along with attorney Miya Griggs was part of the legal team that defended Jessie Murray on charges of malice murder and aggravated assault in the death of Adams. This week Murray reached a plea deal for five years of probation on lesser firearms charges and the dropping of the murder charges. Davis issued the following statement to rolling out:

“On June 28, 2017, after 2 and 1/2 days of trial, the State offered to dismiss the murder charges against Mr. Jessie Murray, if he would accept a probated sentence to a firearms charge. Although Mr. Murray believed that he was justified in his actions on the night of the tragic incident, he elected to accept the offer and not risk a possible 55-year prison sentence.  We believe that the offer of probation and dismissal of the murder charges make clear that the charges against Mr. Murray should never have been brought. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where a person being physically assaulted by 3 men and surrounded by 2 others does not have the right to “stand their ground” and use deadly force to defend their own life.

“The cross-examination of the State’s witnesses in the trial not only called into serious question their credibility, but also confirmed the fact that Mr. Murray never threw a punch, pointed a weapon, or brandished a gun before or during this violent attack against him.

“We remain convinced that the two factors that led to Mr. Murray being charged were:

1) That the men who attacked Mr. Murray were white

2) The deceased was a former police officer with friends who worked in the police department investigating the incident.

“The men who attacked Mr. Murray, including one of them who even shot at Mr. Murray as he attempted to run to safety, have never been arrested or charged.

“The overwhelming support and demand for justice by activists around the country have helped illustrate the inequity that continues to exist in our criminal justice system for people of color in general, but Black people in particular. I am truly thankful to the team of paralegals, legal interns, and co-counsel, Attorney Miya Griggs, for their extraordinary work in being prepared to present Mr. Murray’s life or death experience to the jury.

“We garnered all of the firm’s resources to mount this defense in this fight for justice. I am so proud to be a part of a firm in which everyone worked relentlessly to bring Mr. Murray home to his family and collectively we were successful.” –Mawuli Davis partner Davis Bozeman Law Firm

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • David483

    Murray claimed that his firearm discharged accidentally. In Georgia, you cannot claim self defense, regardless of race, when you accidentally discharge a weapon. Lessons to everyone: don’t talk to the police – lawyer up immediately. There is nothing that you can say to the police that will help your cause. I also don’t understand why he left the bar without his wife. Beyond that, leaving to retrieve a firearm and then returning is also highly problematic when claiming self-defense.

    • britishrose

      there is a question as to why he left her there why didnt he consult the owner of the place and then call police, and were there otherr blacks there? what color was his wife? white?, why would you even take your wife to a sleezy white filled bar for dinner? his actions were creepy i agree , but at some point he got scared and rememberd he had a registered weapon. now to say it accidentally fired i dont believe that , and i think the judge was basing the case on that however his weapon was stand your ground sort of, and legal to use to protect your property familie etc. but in a public setting i dont know . if he didnt have that hugh defense team he would of got time in prison for sure . but whites do this all the time as cops and ride.

    • Reginald Tucker

      Leaving to retrieve his licenced firearm and come back to rescue his wife from these drunk thugs is highly problematic?
      Why is that problematic?
      George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin, and than defied police orders to stop stalking him… and was found not guilty of shooting that young boy dead under the self defense law in Fl .
      I see black ppl aren’t allowed to use this defense huh ?

  • britishrose

    just the fact that dead fool was a cop , they want to omitt evidence , to protect a killer , i was a matter of kill or be killed and trust if they had killed him , he would have gotton no justice for his murder , he did the right thing who gonna let you torcher his wife and insult him physically with threats pushing this man and chasing him was unethical and a call for justice in america from all these cops who are racist out of uniform , believe me if they did a shake down of racist cops they would have no officers to mind the streets , some black cops are just as racist on blacks , they think they have ot insult thier own brothers for a dollar , i can see what the attorney is getting at , if the guy hadnt had a team of lawyers who actulally turned over stones and evidence , he would of gotten 20 years hands down . that judge was racist and jury tainted by racist , why is it always more whites on a jury than blacks ? i know why cause they look for citizens with no criminal history or felonies . and there are more whites then blacks choosen out of those groups , they hand pick juries and that should be illigal ., they need to find a hidden committe to decide on these fates of people , mixxed race black and white half and half , cause a lot of brother who were innocent ended up in prison cause of lies ad false witnesses . and years latter dna EXERNORATE them said and pathetic

  • Roger Duncan

    Why any black person still chooses to live in that ass backwards state is beyond my level of comprehension.

    • bookerreese

      this whole country is ASS Backwards, not just Ga !!!

  • britishrose

    QUESTIONS

    1 what color was the wife
    2. what was he doing in a sleezy bar with his wife?
    3. was he drunk?
    4. where were the managers and waitresses
    5. why no one called the cops?
    6. knowing drama could escallate why not leave when you saw them being ignorant?
    7. is the gun his motivator? or was it pure defense, or fear and action?
    8. why did he kill just that one? and was he out gunned the reason he ran?
    9. how come no one else was arrested for firing at him? you cant just shoot at a man and he hadnt threat you or your family yet? so how come non of them were arrested ? oviously the black man was running and couldnt identify half of them now . but cameras in that area could

    10. sounds like a modern day lynching that failed
    11. how come the law take side of cops ? reason they act cocky off duty
    12. power in the hand of afools equal death off duty or on
    why was the man arrested when they all were shooting back in forth and it could have been friendly fire. but the black man was automatically the killer . how many of them were ex miltary ? all of them with ptsd in the head

  • kbace .

    Maybe now the racists will get the message that the killing can go either way. All of that “turning the other cheek” stuff is in the past.

  • nessy

    Don’t blame the judge the DA should’ve never brought charges against him. Then he would’ve never face that racist judge.

  • http://www.CreditBureauAid.com/ Natani el

    Justice like all desirables is worth fighting for or living without it. The national Black Community will be better off when some investors form a working group of the best civil and criminal African American Attorneys and Lawyers that have a track record of winning hard fights with states in police shooting and general misconduct and abuse of office by cops, district and state attorneys and judges when any black person anywhere in this country fall victim to the crimes committed against the Black Community on a daily basis. After the Nation Black Americans Legal Justice League is formed then it can be supported by all of Black America that pays not less than $250.00 individual dues or $500.00 for the entire family which gives them the right to get immediate and full legal representation any where in the country when the violations happen. As members the most the firm will charge is 30% of any fees won on behalf of their client even if it goes as far as an appeal court. With that group of Black Legal Eagles Lawyers that handles only police abuse cases being advertised thought every agency of the federal and local governments and a multi-millions professional advertisement campaign that would run for no less than one year with the added help from the black church both the cops and their union will not be so trigger happy when they pull over or harass our people any where at any time. When the public servants become the public bullies it is time to put them in check with multi-million dollar law suits and mass firing with bond cancellation that will keep them out of law enforcement forever. One big membership benefit would be special printed card to be given to any cop or district attorney who want to talk to them about any police incident they get involved in. The card would be the 24/7 800 for the live operator that have no less than three (3) lawyers on call 24/7. This brother did the right thing and more black men should man-up and be willing to fight and die to protect our women and children from all harm. They award outlaw cops for murdering our people, that door should swing both way.