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Brookhaven man pleads guilty to murder; gets 35 years in prison

The Brookhaven man who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Demetrius Wilson in December pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Monday.

Yaquilla Washington, 27, was indicted in March for one count of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded not guilty to all charges against him when he was arraigned last year.

Yaquilla Washington

Yaquilla
Washington

Count one of the indictment was changed Monday in court from first-degree murder to second-degree murder in conformity of his plea agreement.

Circuit Court Judge David Strong sentenced Washington to 40 years with five years suspended for 35 years to serve and then five years of post-release supervision. For the crime of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Washington was sentenced to 10 years to serve. Both counts will run concurrently.

Washington was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and $6,000 in restitution to Mary Trunner.

A psychiatric evaluation was ordered for Washington on June 22, 2015, but it took multiple hearings and continuances before it was carried out. The record was sealed on Jan. 11.  Washington had a competency hearing scheduled for Feb. 8 and his trial was set for Feb. 9.

On Dec. 24, police arrested Washington after he allegedly shot Wilson at the Cloverdale apartments in Brookhaven. Police say Wilson had returned to the Cloverdale area from shopping with his girlfriend and noticed a man looking at him. Wilson and Washington allegedly engaged in a short conversation before Wilson and his girlfriend drove to another house in Cloverdale.

The girlfriend told police she entered a house and when she returned to the car she heard an argument between the two men followed by Washington allegedly shooting Wilson with a Smith & Wesson .38 special handgun.