Live Oak —
A Live Oak man walked out of a Suwannee County courtroom Thursday evening a free man after being on trial for two counts of capital first degree murder.
It took a jury nearly seven hours to render a verdict in the case of state of Florida versus Marcus Nathaniel Cole. The 12 member panel found Cole not guilty on both counts. Following the reading of the verdict, family members of the two brothers that were shot and killed by Cole were emotionally vocal to both jury and Cole.
Cole, 41, was hosting a party and cookout at his home on 225th Road on Jan. 26, 2013. At approximately 10 p.m., six of the partygoers got into a fight, according to reports from the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.
Shortly after the fight had broken up, Cole went into his home and retrieved a 30.06 rifle and shot and killed Mike Williams, 46, and his brother, Abram Williams, 41.
Third Judicial Circuit Assistant State Attorney Craig Jacobsen and John Weed represented the state of Florida. Attorneys John Hendrick, David Valin and Jonathan Austin of the Third Judicial Circuit Public Defenders Office, represented Marcus Cole.
Day 1 - March 25
Day one began with opening statements from Jacobsen and Hendrick.
The state then called Sharmee “Greer” Williams, who was married to Abe Williams at the time of the shooting, as their first witness.
According to Sharmee Williams, Karen Thompson, who was in charge of the cooking for the party, invited Sharmee and her husband to come over, and said it was OK for friend David Fillyaw and Abe’s brother Michael Williams, who was with them, to come along.
On the stand, Sharmee testified everyone in the vehicle had been at a previous party where alcoholic beverages were involved, and stated she had roughly eight to nine beers at that party.
Sharmee stated she met Marcus Cole through Karen at a previous cookout.