Defendant Found Guilty by Jury in Murder Trial

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After only eight hours of deliberation, a jury reached a verdict in a murder trial on March 22.

Shaka Haltiwanger, 23, was found guilty of second-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm, possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device while armed and carrying a pistol without a license outside a home or business for the murder of Anthony Cornell Kelly, 39,  on Sept. 10, 2021 on the 1400 block of 29 Street, SE. 

According to court documents, the incident began as an argument between Haltiwanger and Kelly in an apartment.  Prosecutors said Haltiwanger pulled a pistol out of his backpack and shot Kelly.  They described how Kelly had been unarmed when he was shot. 

Kelly died from a single bullet wound in the back.

The victim’s neighbor, who said she was close with Kelly, testified that she watched Haltiwanger shoot Kelly in the back. 

Defense attorney Wole Falodun began his argument by presenting the idea of self-defense and Haltiwanger’s troubled past. Falodun said Haltiwanger started selling drugs at a young age to provide for him and his sister. He said Kelly flashed a gun at Haltiwanger and threatened to kill him. 

Falodun continued by explaining that Kelly’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was 0.29, almost four times the legal limit. 

However, Kelly’s mother and ex-partner testified that they never saw Kelly with a gun. He did not have any violent tendencies, the ex-partner told the jury.  

Kelly’s father, who has a speech impediment due to a stroke, explained that Kelly had moved in with him after the stroke. 

The father stated that he purchased crack cocaine from Haltiwanger the morning of the shooting, and that the defendant slept on his couch. 

Haltiwanger rejected a plea deal on July 7, 2022, for second-degree murder.

He also has an outstanding case for possession with intent to distribute charges from 2020, which is scheduled to resume on April 20. 

The sentencing for Haltiwanger, in the murder case, is scheduled for May 23.

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