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Jesse Murray, denied stand your ground defense in Georgia, wins victory

Jesse Murray (Photo Credit: Provided by family spokesperson Nia Walker)

Jesse Murray (Photo provided by family spokesperson Nia Walker)

Almost 3 1/2 years ago, Jesse Murray was with his ex-wife at a bar and restaurant in the city of Hapeville, Georgia. Throughout the evening they were being harassed by a group of four White men, who were part of a larger party. A drunken White male stumbled into Murray’s wife Traci and made no apology for his actions. It was at this point that Murray stood between his wife and the man and told him to get away from his wife. The drunken man, later identified as Nathaniel Adams, a former police officer, told Murray, “You need to f—ing leave” and four other White men began to surround Murray.

Murray decided he was going to leave and went to his car to get his gun before coming to get his wife out of the restaurant. He retrieved his weapon and tried to re-enter the restaurant and was blocked by four white men who told him his wife wasn’t going anywhere. Murray was then viciously attacked by one of the men and then the others joined in the fight. While being beaten, the gun in Murray’s pocket went off, killing Adams. A bloodied and bruised Murray ran from the group of men and was shot at by someone in the group, police eventually arrived to investigate the situation. It was then found out that Adams was a friend of the investigating officers and despite Murray being attacked, he was the only one arrested that evening.

That night gave a glimpse into justice in the state of Georgia. Murray found himself charged with malice murder in the first degree as well as aggravated assault facing 15 to 55 years in prison for the shooting death of Adams. A rational person would think that Murray was in fear of his life and had every right to use a gun that night. However, Clayton County Judge Albert R. Collier felt that Murray was not in fear for his life when he was attacked by a group of four men. The judge stated that “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.”

This strange logic put Murray in a legal life-or-death limbo but it all came to an end this week after 2 1/2 days of testimony in a packed Clayton County, Georgia courtroom. In a plea bargain, Murray was allowed to plead to lesser firearms charges and was sentenced to five years probation. His family and legal defense were elated at the outcome and happy that the community came out and supported Murray.

After the trial ended, Murray issued the following statement to rolling out:

“I am so thankful that this nightmare is over. With God, my family’s support, my amazing legal team, and the community support, my life has been saved. Attorneys Mawuli Davis and Miya Griggs fought so hard for me that I will be eternally grateful to them and the entire team. They all fought for my freedom. I chose to accept the probation because the charges of murder were dismissed and I could no longer have me or my family face the possibility of a life sentence. Even though I had the utmost confidence in my legal team, my experience through all of this has made it impossible for me to have faith in our legal system. However, I do hope the testimony in trial allowed for people, including the family of the deceased, to see what really happened and that I had no malice or ill will. While I deeply regret there was a loss of life, I believed then and still believe that my life was truly in danger. The activists from the Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability have not only been encouraging to my family throughout this ordeal they have also refused to let me just be forgotten and railroaded. It is my hope that some 3 and 1/2 years since that tragic night, I will now be able to rebuild my life and support my family and community. I believe I have to find ways to help in the struggle for equality and justice. I know in my heart my life was spared because I have a purpose.”

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

Murray was represented by a strong legal team that included attorneys Miya Griggs and Mawuli Davis of the Davis-Bozeman Law Firm. In addition, community support was organized by the Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability. Their spokeswoman Nia Walker stated, “This victory was a community victory. It is another case that adds to the proof that there is truly power in our number. The support that was received was tremendous. We are so happy that Jessie gets to be home with his family and we’re looking forward to working with other families who have been in the same position and are in need of the Coalition and community support.”



20 Comments

  1. Guest on June 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Wow, what an unbelievable story! So glad this man eventually received justice against a crooked judge and police department, he is truly blessed. We all know how this story ends 99.9% of the time.we all. I would love to know more about that legal team.

    • Trevor Hoagland on July 1, 2017 at 11:56 am

      he didn’t receive justice! the fa ct that he had an issue inside the bar and he left and returned with his weapon, made me think that he may be on shaky ground. BUT! the fact that he never drew his weapon EVEN AFTER BEING ATTACKED by first 1 man, (a former police office) and was joined by 2-4 others and he was being beaten by several of them clearly points to a “FEAR FOR HIS LIFE” it is at THAT POINT when his right to defend himself truly bacame the issue! this kid was railroaded plain and simply. now lest we all think I’m playing a race card here, let me dispel that notion, I am a white guy who thinks this young black man was abused by a “good ‘ol boy” system! this case though complex and twisting, resulted in a deadly force outcome that even the communistic state of california whould have seen as a justifiable shooting,……. now lets go on to the the wife, was she held against her will in the bar? if so then where are the charges for kidnapping against the the men who actually started this thing?

      • Gigi1959 on July 10, 2017 at 11:32 am

        If you think the state of GEorgia is going to charge ANY of those officers with anything, I’ve got some florida swampland with your name on it!!

  2. Guest on June 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    There’s probably no more dangerous individual than a retired, former or off duty cop. All the of the entitlement and arrogance of on duty cops but without the uniform to warn you to steer clear of the likely drunk, racist sociopath. You think you’re just dealing with the average belligerent drunk, next thing you know he’s pulling a gun on you and calling his boys in blue gang for backup.

    • britishrose on June 30, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      that was the most amazing part , these cops out of uniform is truely a threat to us all , we dont know if we standing next to them in walmart or the bank or the day care center , and they are viewing the world they hate , and doning somthing about it in unform wow .. just think your riding to work and your cut off by someone in traffic how do you know thats not a cop? or many other places they are everywhere . so be careful what you say and o they could come back for you .

  3. britishrose on June 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    god is good all the time . this young man came close to being a victime of a broke down legal system that has send hundreds of blacks to prison, for killing racist whites , how many black men been killed hung and torchured by a band of white men . remember chaney and the civil rights workers whome were white , whtenmen are so bent on killing black men . they will kill their own even . that judge was a racist to even not consider this mans life was in grave danger anyone under that kind of fear will grab a weapon to protect their wife and family , he felt his life was in danger .
    thanks to some place soldier who saw his need , god sends only the best in need . and hes always on time . you gotta trust and have faith in his word . god bless this man and who knows he could be our next civil rights leader he does have an amazing story to tell . well one man dead for his own ignorant racist arrogant behavior . this will teach the rest of them to watch it

  4. Donna on July 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Geez, that is such a nightmare story. I am so happy to see that he was able to get off with probation. What happened with those that were part of the beating? What a bunch of low lives. Adams got what he deserved, imagine how many blacks he beat up when no one was around with a cellphone to catch him in the act.
    I am a white Canadian and when I hear about beatings, bullying and killing of black people, I see it as being so hateful, ignorant of evolution that all people are equal. Those in positions of authority who abuse their power in the USA are part of the Hateful bunch of inbreads in the KKK. Hillbillies that stay together feeding their haitred to their kids. The fact of the matter is that their ignorance is nothing else but, having a small under developed brain that cannot comprehend any evolution of man. It it so sad that so many are still around.

  5. Trevor Hoagland on July 1, 2017 at 11:57 am

    just 1 side note, this is NOT a cop/former cop issue, this is not an on duty /off duty issue, this is plain and simply a miscarriage of justice!

  6. YeaRight on July 1, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    He better be careful those 5 years of probation. They are probably gonna try to get him on a violation or worse. I’d almost say it is unreasonable to enforce parole when it is clear there could be persons in law enforcement that might seek retribution.

    • John Horatio Smith on July 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      He should have gotten all charges dropped no probatiom or anything

  7. kevin johnson on July 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I hate to say it but bro still lost. He had to cop to a felony which will hinder him. They will also try to violate his probation for slightest reason and send him to jail. This is how crooked crackers work. Stay strong jesse good luck bro

  8. Just Saying on July 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    He should leave the U.S. and move to a black majority rule Nation in the Caribbean or to Africa. Amerkkka is not worth living anymore for Black people.

    • Winslow on July 6, 2017 at 3:07 am

      You go! Write!

      • Just Saying on July 6, 2017 at 9:01 am

        I live in South Africa which is Black Majority Rule.

  9. Tim Harb on July 2, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I would try to get justice department into this. It is not juatice if the law os not applied evenly to everyone.

    • Winslow on July 6, 2017 at 3:11 am

      We have no justice department. No Supreme Court! Nothing Black people can count on for a repeal for justice.

  10. SuperDelicate on July 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

    The only issue I have is the gun didn’t simply “go off” in the struggle. These idiots were beating him and he shot one of them…PERIOD.

  11. Dr. McBItchy on July 5, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Oh my. Another case of that raging-hormone problem that’s poisoning the entire planet. Nobody with a Y-chromosome should be allowed access to firearms. That would be the first step in the cure.

    • Katharine Hikel MD on July 5, 2017 at 10:28 am

      That would mean that only women are allowed to be armed police officers, etc. We should also develop a test for ‘alpha’ excess testosterone: if the level is over the ‘good guy’ count – estrogen injections, or the surgical approach (snip snip!). And. Any group/organization/legislature/team/cult/society in which men outnumber women shall be banned. That will fix things.

  12. C girl on July 7, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Pardon my ignorance but if he left to get his gun, why didn’t he just take his wife and roll out?