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Author Topic: Markale Hart pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2014 fatal shooting of AU player  (Read 486 times)

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jbcarol


Opelika-Auburn News @oanow  ·  16 hours ago

Hart attorney: Police released 'partial details' after Tiger Lodge shooting http://bit.ly/154DXyD

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A defense attorney for alleged Tiger Lodge shooter Markale Hart has accused the Auburn Police Division of releasing incomplete details of the fatal shooting in an attempt to “manipulate the media.”

Hart allegedly shot and killed Auburn University football player and Opelika native Jakell Mitchell at a Dec. 14, 2014, party at Auburn’s Tiger Lodge.

Montgomery-based attorney Jerry Blevins released a statement prior to Hart’s Tuesday preliminary hearing blasting the APD for the information released in the wake of Mitchell’s death.

“Law enforcement has portrayed the shooting as a cold-blooded murder in an obvious attempt to turn the community and potential jury pool against my client and his family,” Blevins stated in a release.

District Judge Steve Speakman moved the murder case to a Lee County grand jury, despite Blevins’ argument Hart shot Mitchell in self-defense.

Blevins alleged police failed to release that Mitchell was armed with a .45-caliber handgun.

“A one-sided story was put out there,” Blevins said after Tuesday’s hearing. “We do have some serious concerns about that.”

APD issued a press release following Hart’s arrest Dec. 14, 2014.

“ On Sunday, December 14, 2014, the Auburn Police Division arrested Markale Deandra Hart, age 22, of Camp Hill on a felony warrant charging him with murder ,” the release said . “ The arrest is the result of an investigation into an early morning shooting that occurred at Tiger Lodge Apartments, located in the 200 block of West Long Leaf Drive. Jakell Lenard Mitchell, age 18, from Opelika, was shot and later died at EAMC Emergency Room as a result of multiple gunshot injuries to the chest that he sustained in the incident. ”

APD Chief Paul Register said his department handled Hart’s arrest and the subsequent release of information “just like we do all of them.”

“No specifics of Hart’s or Mitchell’s actions were released,” Register continued, adding the release was the only information on the incident APD has released. “All of the subsequent information that’s been released about this case has been the result of media attending hearings where police testified.”

Word that Mitchell and Hart exchanged gunfire spread after APD Investigator Dustin Holt testified at a Tallapoosa County probation revocation hearing for Hart in an unrelated case on Monday.

“We’ve been consistent with what we’ve released,” Register said. “We simply report it as it is.”
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jbcarol


https://twitter.com/Tomas_Verde/status/747831783727632389

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Lee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Hughes ruled that Hart was not entitled to immunity from trial under Alabama's Stand Your Ground law. Hart is charged with shooting and killing Mitchell on Dec. 14, 2014 at an off-campus apartment complex in Auburn.

"Hart, a convicted felon, engaged in an unlawful activity when he possessed a firearm before it became necessary to do so," Hughes said in his ruling. "Therefore, he had a duty to retreat and did not. That being the case, he is not entitled to immunity."

"I ain't have no other choice; that's the only choice I had," Hart said of the shooting during his testimony.

The Camp Hill native claimed that Mitchell was the aggressor in the altercation that led to his shooting death that night, and that Hart was only acting in self-defense after trying to leave the party. Hart said he was handed a .40-caliber pistol by a friend known only as "Big D," who told him that there were guys who were going to kill them.

Hart said he took the gun without question and proceeded to attempt to leave the premises. When he looked back, he said he saw Mitchell "swiftly" walking toward him and his cousin, Tyrone Rowe, with a .45-caliber Glock in his right hand. According to his testimony, Hart said that Mitchell raised the gun and pointed it toward Rowe's chest from about 8-9 feet away as Hart told him not to shoot. Hart said that Mitchell then fired multiple shots at him as he retreated and pulled out the .40-caliber pistol, returning fire and eventually striking Mitchell five times.

While Hart has admitted to firing the shots that killed Mitchell, he has also expressed remorse for what unfolded that night, saying he never had intentions of shooting Mitchell until Mitchell allegedly pointed and fired at him first.
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jbcarol


 AL.com sports‏Verified account @aldotcomSports 3h3 hours ago

Man charged with murder of Auburn football player has unrelated arraignment on gun, DUI scheduled  https://trib.al/VixgHJi


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The man charged with the murder of former Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell has an arraignment for unrelated charges of possessing a gun and DUI in Tallapoosa County scheduled in circuit court.

The case against Markale Hart for a felony gun charge and driving under the influence stemming from his arrest in Dadeville on Feb. 26, while he was out on bond for the murder charge, has been moved from district court to circuit court, where an arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 19 before judge Steven Perryman.

Hart, whose murder trial in Lee County is scheduled for Dec. 4, faces charges for illegal possession of a firearm, a felony, open container, a misdemeanor, DUI and improper lane change, according to court records, which show the charge for receiving stolen property was no billed.

Hart is charged with the murder of Mitchell after a fatal shooting at the Tiger Lodge at Auburn apartment complex on Dec. 14, 2014. During an immunity hearing last year, Hart admitted to shooting Mitchell, but claimed it was in self-defense.

The murder trial, which was scheduled to begin Dec. 5 of last year, has repeatedly been delayed. It was initially continued due to a witness for the defense being unavailable, then jury selection scheduled for June 12 was delayed due to conflicts with other cases and last month it was delayed yet again due to the unavailability of a forensic expert.
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jbcarol


AL.com sports‏Verified account @aldotcomSports

Attorney withdraws from defending man accused of murdering former Auburn football player


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The attorney defending the man accused of murdering then-Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell for over three years was granted his motion to withdraw from the case.

Jerry Blevins filed a motion in Lee Country Circuit Court last week to withdraw from defending Markale Hart due to "an irreconcilable conflict" between the two. Lee County Circuit Court judge Christopher Hughes granted Blevins' motion on Friday and appointed Harold Patrick to serve as Hart's attorney in the case, which has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning and is set for a retrial on Feb. 26.

Nearly three years after Mitchell was fatally shot at the Tiger Lodge at Auburn apartment complex on Dec. 14, 2014, Hart stood trial last month but Hughes declared a mistrial due to the jury being unable to reach a verdict and one juror's misconduct.

During a May 2016 immunity hearing, Hart admitted to shooting Mitchell, but claimed it was in self-defense.

Hart is still facing a felony gun charge, DUI, an open container and improper lane change in Tallapoosa County circuit court from his arrest in Dadeville on Feb. 26 of last year, while he was out on bond for the murder charge.
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jbcarol


AL.com sports
‏Verified account @aldotcomSports

Man accused of murdering former Auburn football player indicted for manslaughter, attorney rejoins defense https://trib.al/vdNdvco


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The man accused of murdering then-Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell was indicted on charges of manslaughter and forbidden possession of a firearm.

A Lee County grand jury indicted Markale Hart, who is facing a murder charge for the Dec. 2014 fatal shooting of Mitchell, on the additional charges last month.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said the jury serving in Hart's retrial on Feb. 26 will have murder, manslaughter, and certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm to decide on.

Attorney Jerry Blevins, who filed a motion to withdraw as Hart's attorney last week citing "an irreconcilable conflict," filed a notice of limited appearance on Monday to resume defending Hart in the murder trial as well as his arraignment on the additional two charges on Feb. 9.

Blevins confirmed he will serve as Hart's counsel, clarified his limited appearance is to reflect that he will not represent Hart in the event of an appeal, should he be convicted, and called the additional charges "frivolous."

"The Court has previously held that the evidence does not support a manslaughter charge and the weapon charge is without a basis based on the evidence adduced at the first trial," Blevins said. "This is merely a stunt by the DA to try and breathe life into a meritless case."

Hart was tried in December, nearly three years after Mitchell was fatally shot at the Tiger Lodge at Auburn apartment complex on Dec. 14, 2014, but Lee County Circuit Court judge Christopher Hughes declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict and a juror's misconduct.

During a May 2016 immunity hearing, Hart admitted to shooting Mitchell, but claimed it was in self-defense.

Hart still faces a felony gun charge, DUI, open container and improper lane change in Tallapoosa County from his Feb. 2017 arrest in Dadeville, when he was out on bond for the murder charge.
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jbcarol

Markale Hart pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2014 fatal shooting of AU player
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 08:20:20 am »

Nearly 38 months after the December 2014 fatal shooting of then-Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell, the case against the man who shot him is over

Markale Hart pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Lee County Circuit Court


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Hart will serve a 10-year split sentence with three years probation and the pending charges against him in Tallapoosa County, including a felony gun charge and DUI, will be dismissed. Should the charges in Tallapoosa County not be dismissed, Hart would be permitted to nullify his guilty plea in Lee County, which also ends his outstanding murder charge, which was to be retried later this month.

"After discussions with the Mitchell family, and based on what we were able to learn after the previous trial, a plea offer was made," Lee County Distrcit Attorney Brandon Hughes said. "Today Markale Hart admitted to recklessly causing the death of Jakell Mitchell. The plea offer was not an easy decision nor was it made in haste. Jakell's killer admitted his guilt and the case is now over."

Last week, Hart's attorney Jerry Blevins called his client's indictment for manslaughter and certain persons with a pistol "frivolous." On Monday, Blevins filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, citing precedent of felons being permitted to take possession of a weapon if used in self-defense of themselves or others...

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