Defense rests case in St. Maarten murder trial - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Defense rests case in St. Maarten murder trial

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Suspects walking into court on Tuesday. (Source: Judith Roumou/YouTube) Suspects walking into court on Tuesday. (Source: Judith Roumou/YouTube)
The suspect and the victims. (Source: St. Maarten News Network/WIS) The suspect and the victims. (Source: St. Maarten News Network/WIS)
ST. MAARTEN (WCSC) -

The defense has rested its case in the trial of three men accused of murdering Mike and Thelma King, a South Carolina couple who had a home on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

The suspects, 20-year-old Jamal Jefferson Woolford, 28-year-old Meyshane Johnson and 17-year-old Jeremiah Mills will be brought back to court on May 8. They will also be sentenced on that date.

During the trial on Wednesday, all three men apologized to the King family for their actions as the trial wrapped up, but the defense spent a large part of the morning presenting its side of the case.

Johnson's attorney claimed there were procedural errors made by prosecutor when they summoned her client in January.  Prosecutors admitted to an issue with a court summons, but said the law provides a remedy for such mistakes.

Johnson's attorney asked that he be charged with manslaughter instead of  murder and also requested a lighter sentence than life in prison, which was suggested by prosecutors in court Tuesday.

Woolford's attorney painted a picture of a young man financially strapped trying to support a pregnant girlfriend. She said Woolford does not deny he was in the Kings' home September 19 where he robbed them and tied up Thelma King.  However, Woolford said it was Johnson who killed the couple.

Attorneys for all three men said the murders were not planned.

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