AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A Lee County judge is deciding if three defendants accused in the 2020 kidnapping and murder of Auburn teenager, Thomas Green will be tried together or separately. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
The 18-year-old Auburn youth vanished on September 5, 2020, sparking a community-wide search. Green’s body was discovered five days later on September 10th in a wooded area off of Lee Road 188 in western Lee County. He had been shot.
31-year-old Damian Williams, 43-year-old Taharra Brunson, and 37-year-old Marcus Wigley of Auburn were arrested and charged with Capital Murder in the kidnapping and deadly shooting.
All three defendants were in court Friday for a hearing on the state’s motion to consolidate for several reasons including judicial economy and preventing Green’s family from having to cope with three trials. Attorneys for Brunson and Williams have no objection to being tried together. Wigley’s attorneys did object stating their client’s interaction with the case is different. The state maintains their case, witnesses, and evidence are the same for each defendant.
Judge Jeff Tickal listened to both prosecutors and the defense. An option could be to try Wigley separately from Willams and Brunson. We will let you know what the judge decides when his ruling is issued.
Auburn investigators allege two witnesses gave statements to police saying Brunson was driving the vehicle when they saw Wigley and Williams struggling with Green before forcing him into a vehicle. Green was never seen alive again. The motive for the teen’s murder hasn’t been released to the public.
“The family of Thomas Green would like to thank everyone who has stayed consistent with their love, support, and most importantly prayer. We ask you continue to keep our family in prayer as we prepare for this long road ahead. This is just the beginning. Justice, he will have.”
The three defendants remain at the Lee County Detention Facility on no bond. A trial date has not been set.