Murder suspect on probation when he shot and killed Rossville man
Police say it took only two months out of prison for a North Georgia man to kill someone. Marcus Eugene Sutton faced a judge Thursday afternoon on murder charges. Authorities say he shot and killed 23-year-old Anderson "Andy" Watts inside a Rossville apartment October 30.
But Sutton has quite the criminal record. He only served one year in prison after pleading guilty to three felonies. And that was before authorities say he decided to kill.
Channel 3 obtained court documents from Walker County detailing Marcus Sutton's history with the law. It started in 2010 when he shot a teenager in the back. That teen's parents talked with Channel 3 off camera Thursday, saying their son, 17 at the time, was lucky the bullet didn't hit any major organs. Sutton himself was just 17 in 2010. He pleaded guilty to three felonies including aggravated assault. But Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said that was only the beginning of his troubles.
"To have anybody doing that is alarming but to have a 17-18 year old doing it is much more alarming," said Sheriff Steve Wilson.
Walker County Judge Brian House sentenced Sutton to 20 years probation with no prison time as long as he, among other things:
- Stays out of Chattooga, Catoosa, Walker and/or Dade County.
- Successfully completes a 15-18 month program at the Detention Center.
- Successfully completes the Probation Boot Camp Program.
- Removes the "60'Z" gang symbol and all other tattooed gang symbols on his body.
All good, right?
The judge got word that Sutton was involved in two different fights at the detention center. Sutton was charged with Simple Battery from an event in December 2011 and March 2012 in Union County, Ga.
The State wanted more supervision for Sutton and ordered him to be locked up in the pen for 18 months. The Georgia Department of Corrections put Sutton in the Ware State Prison in Waycross.
Sutton completed his sentence and was released on August 14, 2013. But the troubled man, now 20, found his way back to Rossville.
"He certainly didn't learn his lesson at the detention center or in prison. He came out on probation and started violating immediately," Sheriff Sutton said. "We can see a pattern from 17-20 years of age with nothing but violence. A complete pattern of violence in his lifestyle," Sheriff Wilson said.
Sheriff Wilson said Sutton shot up some Rossville apartments weeks after his release. And then on the eve of Halloween: murder. Sheriff Wilson said Sutton shot and killed 23-year-old Andy Watts in a Rossville duplex before escaping on foot.
Sutton was on the run for a few days before the U.S. Marshals found him hiding out at a Chattanooga home.
Sheriff Wilson said a lot of criminals make one mistake and won't re offend.
"But then we have people like Sutton and it just doesn't work for them," he said.
Sheriff Wilson said Sutton may never have the chance at probation or parole ever again. The Georgia DOC said Sutton met with his probation officer after his release but then disappeared. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.
May 2011 - Sutton sentenced to 20 years probation after pleading guilty to Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm during Commission of a Felony, and Carrying a Weapon within a Certain School Area.
December 2011 - Sutton is charged with Simple Battery in Union County, Ga.
March 2012 - Sutton is again charged with Simple Battery in Union County, Ga. in a separate incident.
June 2012 - Court records show Sutton is ordered to spend 18 months with credit since his arrest in March at a Georgia prison.
August 2012 - Sutton begins his prison sentence.
August 2013 - Sutton is released from prison.
September 2013 - Sheriff Wilson said Sutton was involved in a shooting at a Rossville apartment complex.
October 2013 - Sheriff Wilson said Sutton is the suspect in a Halloween eve murder.
November 2013 - Sutton is arrested and charged with murder.