derek lamar rushing.JPG

Derek Lamar Rushing.

MOULTRIE — The alleged gunman in a 2013 shooting that claimed the lives of two men pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter.

Following the guilty plea tendered by Derek Lamar Rushing, 24, Superior Court Judge Harry Jay Altman II sentenced him to a 20-year prison sentence on one of the counts.

Sentencing on the second count will come after the trial of co-defendant Antonio Dewayne Williams. Rushing agreed to testify in that trial as part of a plea deal.

Williams, 25, is accused of driving the car used in the shooting that claimed the lives of James L. Key, 50, and his 42-year-old nephew Eric Debruce.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in the days after the shooting that at least 30 bullets were fired at about 9:50 p.m. on March 3, 2013.

Key was pronounced dead at the scene on March 3, while Debruce died March 20 due to complications from being shot multiple times. He was shot twice in the upper body and once in the leg, and part of the leg was amputated while he was hospitalized.

Margaret White-Tuff and Elijah Daniels also were struck in the hail of bullets, several of which hit the house next door.

An indictment issued in the case charges both Williams and Rushing with two counts each of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault and nine counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The other counts in the indictment against Rushing are scheduled to be dismissed as part of the plea arrangement.

The GBI has said that Rushing had an argument with someone earlier in the day, and that the shooting was intended to settle a score from that encounter. The intended victim apparently was one of Key’s relatives, who was not at the Second Street residence at the time of the shooting.

Williams’ trial has been continued until November.

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