Carlos Dewartherdo Ferguson was found guilty Wednesday of second degree murder, concluding a two-day jury trial in Hardin County Circuit Court.
Ferguson shot and killed 21-year-old Brelyn Cherry of Savannah in the parking lot of the Cedar Pantry convenience store on Florence Road on Oct. 7, 2016 — an allegation Ferguson did not deny at trial.
Ferguson argued self defense, with several witnesses testifying that Cherry and others had threatened his life and even shot at him in the days and weeks before Cherry was killed.
Following the delivery of the verdict after two hours of deliberation, two jurors spoke with a Courier reporter outside the courtroom. According to those jurors, the jury’s decision essentially rested on the evidence that while Ferguson had been threatened and likely feared for his life, he had not been threatened that day and didn’t feel the danger was imminent. The jurors said they also felt Ferguson initiated the deadly confrontation in a state of agitation or passion, and could have made the choice to avoid the encounter at the Savannah convenience store.
There were three others in the vehicle that Ferguson shot at when he killed Cherry, and based on their presence the jury also found Ferguson guilty of three counts of reckless endangerment.
Ferguson, who was 26 and had recently moved to Savannah from Memphis at the time of the incident, will next appear on May 23 for sentencing before Circuit Court Judge Creed McGinley, who presided over the trial.
Editor’s note: Story was updated to reflect new sentencing information.
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