Wayne Co. jury reaches verdict in capital murder trial

Wayne Co. jury reaches verdict in capital murder trial
After hearing closing arguments, the jury found Demarco Felps not guilty and David Lacey Jr. guilty of first-degree murder. (Eddie Robertson)

WAYNESBORO, MS (WDAM) - After less than two hours of deliberation, a Wayne County jury delivered a verdict Wednesday in the capital murder trial of David Lacey Jr. and Demarco Felps.

After hearing closing arguments, the jury found Felps not guilty and Lacey guilty of first-degree murder.

Lacey was then sentenced to life in prison for the 2015 shooting death of Gary Wayne Martin.

Authorities said Martin was fatally shot in the back at the High Rise apartment complex on North Street in Waynesboro.

During the three-day trial, prosecutors argued Lacey and Felps were responsible for Martin’s death after a drug deal went bad. Prosecutors said the men met Martin at the apartment complex with the intent of robbing him during a drug transaction.

The defense argued the state failed to prove that Lacey or Felps were responsible for Martin’s death. They argued the burden of proof was on the state and the prosecution’s evidence did not support the state’s claim of murder.

The case was handed over to the jury just after noon. The jurors returned a verdict around 1:45 p.m.

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