DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - A Morgan County jury has found 22-year-old Darrius Sherrod guilty of capital murder. He was on trial last week for the September 2010 drive-by shooting death of 19-year-old Matthew Jackson.
The jury returned the verdict just after 3:30 p.m. Monday. They had been deliberating since 9 a.m., taking a break for lunch.
Darrius Sherrod took the stand in his own defense Friday morning. He told the court that a long-running "beef" with a man named Tyler Clark led to the shooting death of Matthew Jackson. Sherrod told the court the problems between he and Clark had escalated to the point that Clark shot at him on several different occasions . He said Clark even drove by his parents house and made threatening gestures to his mother and sisters.
Sherrod testified he felt like he had no choice but to face Clark man-to-man and try to resolve their problems. He told the court he got a gun and went to find Clark. He said when he pulled up to where they were visiting friends on Austin Street in Decatur, Sherrod said he thought Clark was going for a gun. He said he closed his eyes and opened fire on him and Jackson, who had the misfortune of being in the truck with Clark. Jackson was hit with four of the six bullets fired from Sherrod's gun, and died at the scene. Clark was not hurt.
Defense attorney Brian White says it's a case of self defense, but prosecutors say Sherrod initiated the final action that led to Jackson's death. In fact, during his closing arguments, District Attorney Scott Anderson told the jury Sherrod tracked Clark and Jackson down that night with the intent to commit murder.
The jury is charged with deciding whether the shooting was in self-defense or an act of murder. Sherrod could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.