MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A jury found Jamarkus Holifield guilty of reckless manslaughter for the shooting that killed 15-year-old Anesa Baker at the Grand Hall in 2018.
“His sentence on a murder would’ve been most likely, you know would’ve been 10 to 99, but on this, it’s going to be 10 to 20 is what the judge will have to consider,” said attorney Jason Darley.
Testimony wrapped up on the second day of the trial. The state called three expert witnesses to the stand including the Mobile Police Homicide Detective in charge of the case, the medical examiner as well as an expert from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences specializing in firearms.
Part of the state’s argument on Wednesday hinged on Facebook posts and messages allegedly from Holifield. The state said Holifield was asking for 9mm bullets, which prosecutors said are what killed Anesa Baker.
The state also argued Holifield tried to get rid of the gun after the shooting allegedly writing “people got hit with that bit” referring to the gun. Seven guns were recovered in the investigation, but the state said none of those guns were the ones to fire the shots that killed Anesa.
The state presented a lot of evidence, including the bullet that killed Anesa. They also had a scientist testify that only one gun was used inside the Grand Hall.
The state argued Jamarkus was at the Grand Hall to shoot a different person, a man named Jamarcus Jefferson. The defense called no witnesses and Holifield never took the stand.
Anesa was shot at the Grand Hall on Easter Sunday back in 2018 in Mobile Police believed was a gang feud. She was rushed into surgery, but did not survive and passed away on April 11, 2018.
Holifield was arrested and charged with her murder in May of 2018.
Holifield’s trial started March 8, 2022. Holifield initially faced a murder charge, but on the second day of the trial, the judge ruled to include reckless manslaughter as a possibility.
On the first day of the trial, the state called six witnesses including Anesa’s Mom, Mobile Police Officers and a man named Juandarius Jones. Jones claimed that Holifield told him he had killed a girl, who Jones discovered was Baker.
After a two-day trial and a three-hour deliberation, the jury reached a unanimous decision that Hollifield was guilty of reckless manslaughter.
“They didn’t find him guilty of murder. They reached a lesser included of manslaughter. Obviously, we respect the jury’s verdict. You know, they found that he acted recklessly rather than intentionally, so there is some consolation in that, but you know he still, still got to deal with sentencing at a later date,” said Darley.
We asked Darley how Holifield reacted to the verdict. “Jamarkus is a quiet individual. You know, he had a few questions,” said Darley.
As of March 9, a sentencing has not been set.