Eight days after police say he shot an old Ridgeland High School classmate dead and went on the run, Marcus Eugene Sutton limped into a room inside the Walker County Jail, orange shackles around his ankles.
Sutton, 20, showed up for a first appearance hearing Thursday afternoon in a room containing just a desk, seven chairs, a judge, a public defender and District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin. The meeting lasted about five minutes, and Sutton didn't say much, only telling Magistrate Judge Kela Spence that he understood his rights.
On the night of Oct. 30, according to the Walker County Sheriff's Office, Sutton got into a fight with Anderson Trammel Watts Jr. inside an apartment at 22 Fisher Road in Rossville. A neighbor said she heard a loud bang, and when her boyfriend went over to check, he found Watts, 23, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
A search ensued, and on Tuesday evening U.S. marshals found Sutton inside a Chattanooga home at 3005 Fifth Ave. He was arrested on charges of murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in commission of a crime, reckless conduct and a probation violation.
At the time of the shooting, the Rossville Police Department was looking for Sutton on a warrant charging him with opening fire at another apartment.
Before the arrest Tuesday, Sutton had been a free man for about two months, records show. He got out of Ware State Prison on Aug. 14 after a one-year stint on convictions of aggravated assault, carrying a weapon at school and possession of a firearm during a crime. Before his time in prison, Sutton stayed in a probation detention center on those same charges.
For now, Sutton will be held at the Walker County Jail without a bond. The county's Superior Court is not scheduled for bond hearings until Nov. 26.
"That doesn't mean they won't try to get it wedged in before," Franklin said.
In theory, a judge can hold bond hearings before the scheduled date if all parties involved are free for the hearing.
On Thursday, public defender David Dunn came to the Walker County Jail to meet with Sutton, and he told Spence that he planned to represent Sutton throughout his case.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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