COLUMBIA — Joshua Dewayne Murray pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree assault in the shooting death of Tre'Veon Marshall and an unrelated burglary Monday afternoon.
Marshall and Haley Hatton were walking through McKee Street Park on July 14, 2013, when Murray and his co-defendant, Nicholas Thomas, walked past them in the opposite direction. Thomas turned around and shot Marshall in the back. Marshall fell to the ground, and then Thomas shot Marshall in the left leg and arm. Thomas and Murray then fled, Murray said in earlier testimony.
Murray initially faced charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action, according to a probable cause statement. The charges were changed to first degree assault — a class A felony carrying a sentence between 10 years and 30 years or life imprisonment, depending on a judge's discretion. Murray was also charged with an unrelated burglary — a class C felony carrying penalties between one day and seven years in prison.
Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Z. Gonzalez recommended a 10-year sentence for Murray. "It's not uncommon for cases to be resolved in a plea of guilty when co-defendants have cooperated," Gonzalez said.
The guilty plea was the culmination of numerous discussions among Murray, his attorney, and the state, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the charge of assault, rather than the initial charge of first-degree murder, is related to the fact that Murray did not pull the trigger. Rather, he acted "in concert with" Thomas, according to court documents from which Judge Kevin Crane read at the hearing.
There will be a final disposition hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6, at which Marshall's mother will be afforded the opportunity to discuss how Murray's crimes have affected her with a "victim impact" statement.
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