Columbus man found not guilty of murdering Markeese Hodge in 2014

Columbus man found not guilty of murdering Markeese Hodge in 2014

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus man was found not guilty on all charges in a shooting that killed Markeese Hodge.

Jerome Chatman was accused of killing one man and injuring another in August 2014. Chatman faced charges including felony murder, aggravated assault, malice murder and possession of firearm in commission of a felony.

"Obviously we are pleased that Jerome was found not guilty on all counts," said Chatman's defense attorney Stacey Jackson after the trial.

However, not everyone was pleased with the verdict.

"I don't think justice was served here today," said Bobby Hodge, the victim's uncle.

Hodge also compared Chatman to George Zimmerman.

"I think the verdict of the jury is a prime example of why we are having so many murders here," Hodge said.

Hodge's father James was just as shocked. "And not guilty on any counts?" he said.

Jackson stated this case was a case of self defense.

"I think by looking at all the evidence, the shell casings and different things showed that Mr. Chatman once he fired those shots at Bobby Williams and Markeese Hodge that he was simply defending himself," said Jackson.

After serving nearly 18 months in jail, Chatman is scheduled to be released from Muscogee County Jail Monday night.

Police say the 23-year-old at the time was arrested after reportedly opening fire at the Cross Key Apartments on Baker Plaza Drive.

Markeese Hodge suffered several gunshot wounds and later died.

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