Quincy Wade found not guilty of murder in Columbus rapper murder trial

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2023 at 12:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Sept. 29, Verdict reached: A mixed verdict Friday in court. The Muscogee County Superior Court jury unanimously found Quincy Wade not guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and home invasion. The jury found Wade guilty of criminal trespassing.

Sept. 28, Testimony wraps up: Both sides rested in the case, the state’s witness Xavier Stevenson took the stand, taking sole responsibility for the story he says he made up as to why defendant Quincy Wade ended up in LaGrange after being shot in Columbus by the victim in the murder trial.

Family from both sides heard the testimony and shared their thoughts.

“My whole feeling is really, I’m just numb to the whole thing. I’ve been waiting two years plus for this moment.”

The defense brought Stevenson to the stand. He was the one who drove Wade to the hospital the night of the September 2021 shooting. The state asked the witness about what he told LaGrange police that night.

“I had told them the story I had came up with that we was just gone say like we was coming from Atlanta I don’t remember the exact story we exactly said we was going to say but the mainly like we was coming from Atlanta and I want to say he tried to buy some weed and somebody robbed him but like I said that was my idea,” said Stevenson.

Defense attorney Williams Kendrick then asked what he told Columbus police, saying “In that interview, you admitted that this whole thing about Atlanta wasn’t the truth.”

“That’s right, sir,” the witness replied.

After Stevenson, the jury heard from Columbus Police Sgt. Thomas Hill. The state asked Hill about the interview they did with Stevenson and whose idea was it to go to the LaGrange hospital.

“He stated that it was Quincy’s idea to go to the LaGrange hospital,” said the officer.

During the cross-examination, Kendrick asked Sgt. Hill about his interview with the witness and what he learned in the interview.

“And is it true that you learned during that interview that Mr. Jackson was in the shower when it happened,” said Kendrick.

“That’s what Mr. Stevenson said had been reported to him by Mr. Quincy,” replied Hill.

The jury also heard from Detective Sherman Hayes, who interviewed the witnesses the night of the shooting. Because Hayes was the last witness from the state, they rested their case, and the defense didn’t call any witnesses, including the defendant.

Cleopatra Vaughn, the victim’s mother, says after hearing all the evidence, it doesn’t matter if her son shot first or not.

“He was where he was supposed to be, unbothered and unbothering he had the right to defend himself and whoever he was with at the time,” said Vaughn.

Jolynne Wade, the suspect’s mother, says she feels like there are a lot of inconsistencies in this case.

“But I’m telling you, it’s one common denominator with this whole thing and that’s Channa Powell. And I think she should have gotten some charges,” said Jolynne Wade.

Closing arguments will begin Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m. in Judge Bobby Peters courtroom.

Sept. 27, Testimony from medical examiner: The murder trial of Quincy Wade continues in Columbus. He is accused of killing a local rapper in September 2021. The defense claims it was self-defense, but prosecutors say it was a love triangle that ended in death.

Jurors on the case heard from a slew of Columbus police officers who worked the scene. News Leader 9 also spoke to the victim’s father on how he felt about the case so far.

“Cause at the end of the day, if he would’ve waited another day to handle that with her, my son would still be here today,” said the father.

Wade was arrested in LaGrange and charged with the murder of local rapper Maurice Vaughn-Jackson, known as Lil Nuke. The killing took place at Patriot Place Apartment off Buena Vista Road. Court began for the third day with a medical examiner taking the witness stand.

The state asked the examiner, Columbus Hubert, about the victim’s gunshot wounds and which one was most lethal.

During cross-examination, Defense Attorney William Kendrick asked the medical examiner about the defendant’s gunshot wounds sustained after the victim emerged from the shower, and the two exchanged gunfire.

Vaughn-Jackson’s father says after seeing the evidence of what happened that night, one thing remains clear.

“This case is not about who shot who first. This case [is] about one thing and one thing only. My son lost his life protecting himself, and who he was with that night when trouble came knocking on their door,” said the victim’s father.

Wade faces multiple charges of malice and felony murder in addition to aggravated assault and home invasion. Vaughn-Jackson’s father says he is hopeful his son will get justice.

“At the end of the day, justice gonna be served for Maurice, and justice gonna be served for all the times he did her the way he did her. She was just too scared to come forward at the end of the day.”

If the defendant is found guilty of the charges brought against him, he will face the possibility of life in prison.

Sept. 26, Opening Statements: The jury heard opening statements and testimony in the murder case for a local rapper killed in September 2021.

Quincy Wade was arrested in LaGrange and charged with the murder of 26-year-old Maurice Vaughn-Jackson, also known as Lil Nuke. The killing took place at Patriot Place Apartments off Buena Vista Road.

Court began with prosecutor Don Kelly giving his opening statements about what took place the night of Sept. 7, 2021.

“In a way, this case is about self-defense, but it’s also about Maurice Vaughn-Jackson defending himself and Channa, and there are limitations on self-defense,” stated Kelly.

Defense attorney William Kendrick gave his opening statement, saying this case is about a toxic relationship. He says weeks before the murder, Wade found out Channa Powell, one of the witnesses, was pregnant with his child.

“I expect the evidence to show that Mr. Wade walked in, had a conversation. Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Powell ran into the bathroom, and I suspect the evidence to show that Mr. Wade did not even know that Mr. Jackson was there because Mr. Jackson was hiding in the shower,” stated Kendrick.

After opening statements, the state called its first witness to the stand, Rickell Paulk, who was the homeowner of where the murder took place. After Paulk, Powell took the stand. She had a relationship with the victim and the defendant. The state asked Powell about the night of the shooting.

“He put a gun to my head and to my stomach and said he would kill me and my child. When he had the gun to my stomach, I guess Maurice had heard it, and he pulled the shower curtain back like he was finna get out of it. And that’s when I just heard gunshots go off,” said Powell.

The defense asked Powell about several instances involving physical confrontations between the two, where she and Wade made police reports on each other but never prosecuted each other. Additionally, Kendrick asked her about the statement she made to officers the night of the murder, indicating there are two different stories.

‘’ I also want to see where you told the officers about the gun being put to your stomach and put to your head and him saying don’t shoot you and the baby. I want you to find that for me,” said the defense attorney William Kendrick. ‘’You had a chance to Review the interview didn’t you?’’

‘’Yes I thought I said it on the interview,” Powell said.

Court will resume tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Sept. 25, Jury Selection: Jury selection wrapped up for the 2021 murder trial for a Columbus man charged with the shooting death of a local rapper.

Defense lawyer William Kendrick described the case as “a love triangle” while questioning jurors to determine who to choose. A total of 14 people were selected for the case, 12 jurors and two alternatives.

In September 2021, police say Quincy Wade was arrested in LaGrange and charged with the murder of 25-year-old Maurice Vaughn-Jackson, better known as Lil Nuke. The murder took place at Patriot Place Apartments off Buena Vista Road. Wade is charged with malice and felony murder in addition to aggravated assault and home invasion. It was the 50th homicide in Columbus in 2021, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.

News Leader 9 spoke with Jolynne Wade, the defendant’s mother, who urges people not to make assumptions in the case as it goes to trial.

“People wait and listen to the testimony and don’t judge what you heard because there’s a whole lot more to this whole story that people don’t know, and that’s all I want them to do.”

The victim’s mother says all she wants is justice for her son.

The trial is set to begin with opening statements on Sept. 26 in Judge Bobby Peters’ courtroom.