Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 1, 2012

Murder trial to start Monday

1 suspect pleaded guilty in Hewitt slaying

MOULTRIE — One of two Mitchell County men charged in the 2011 slaying and robbery of a Northwest Moultrie man is scheduled to go on trial alone next week after his co-defendant entered a guilty plea last month.

Phirronnius Jamesquae Edwards, 24, of Pelham and Michael Jamar Russell 25, of Camilla, were indicted in March in the Sept. 23, 2011, slaying of 29-year-old Billy Vontinue Hewitt during what law enforcement described as a robbery attempt.

Both men were indicted on counts of felony murder, armed robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in the killing of Hewitt, who was shot at his 208 29th Ave. N.W. residence.

Russell entered a guilty plea on Nov. 8 to armed robbery. He has not been sentenced. In similar cases in the past, judges have delayed sentencing until the defendant who has taken a plea agreement offers testimony against his or her co-defendants.

On the night of the shooting, a sheriff’s deputy answered a call of a burglar at the residence of one of Hewitt’s neighbors. The investigation revealed that Hewitt, after being shot, went to the neighbor’s residence and broke a window to get their attention.

Hewitt, who had a chest wound, was found on his back on the neighbor’s back porch, and he told an officer that he had been shot at his house. He died later from his wound.

Edwards’ trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.


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