On November 6, 2014, Marcus Eugene Sutton, age 21, entered pleas of guilty in three separate pending criminal cases in the Superior Court of Walker County. Judge Jon B. Wood sentenced Sutton to an aggregate sentence of 40 years with the first 30 years to be served in the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections with the balance of 10 years to be served on probation.
On September 29, 2013, Sutton and Tyler Roberts called Terrance Dillard via cellphone and told him they were coming to kill him. The two drove to an apartment building in Rossville, Georgia, where they believed Dillard to be. Sutton stopped the car in the roadway where Roberts got out and fired several shots into the apartments. After the shooting, Dillard told officers with the Rossville Police Department that he was across the street at the time and witnessed the shooting. Shell casings from a .40 caliber firearm were recovered at the scene. Later, Dillard denied having witnessed anything. No gun was ever recovered. Sutton entered pleas of guilty to three counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of Criminal Damage to Property in the First Degree. He received a sentence of 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in custody, to be served consecutively to his sentence on the Voluntary Manslaughter charge.
On October 30, 2013, while at a residence in Rossville, Georgia, Sutton got into an argument with Anderson Watts. Sutton shot Watts seven times with a .40 caliber handgun and Watts died as a result of these wounds. Sutton immediately fled the scene. A joint investigation by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was commenced. Ultimately, the investigation led state and federal authorities in both Georgia and Tennessee to begin an intensive search for Sutton. On November 5, 2012, Sutton was discovered hiding in the residence located on Fifth Avenue in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was taken into custody by officers with the Chattanooga Police Department and the United States Marshal Fugitive Task Force. Sutton was transported to the Walker County jail. No weapon was ever recovered in connection with the shooting. Sutton entered a plea of guilty to a charge of Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of Watts and received the maximum sentence of 20 years to be served in confinement.
On March 27, 2014, while in the custody of the Walker County jail on the above charges, Sutton and another inmate, Brandon Chase Lonas, assaulted a third inmate, Steven Adam Powell. This assault resulted in significant injuries to Powell. Sutton entered pleas of guilty to charges of Riot in a Penal Institution and Aggravated Assault. On these charges, Sutton was sentenced to serve 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in custody, consecutive to the sentence for Voluntary Manslaughter and concurrently with his sentences for shooting into the apartments.
The cases were prosecuted by District Attorney Herbert E. (Buzz) Franklin. The defendant was represented by David Dunn, Chief Public Defender.