Shelby Talcott | Contributor
Jurors found Emanuel Kidega Samson guilty of first-degree murder Friday for a 2017 Nashville church shooting that resulted in one woman dead and seven others wounded.
The jury found Samson guilty on all 43 counts, including the first-degree murder of Melanie L. Crow. The 38-year-old was in the church parking lot on her way to get a cough drop when she was shot, Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter said. Some of Crows family members testified at the trial.
“Melanie touched and left an impression on everyone she met,” Bridget Polson, Crows sister, testified. “She had a big heart, a beautiful smile, and an uplifting soul.”
Prosecutors played jail calls during the trial following the shooting where Samson and his ex-girlfriend can be heard laughing about the victims and talking about how good Samson looked in media coverage.
Samson allegedly left a note about the South Carolina shooting massacre in 2015. His note said he was trying to kill at least 10 white churchgoers as revenge, Hunter said, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutors said Samson swung his gun and skipped past two black members of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ as the shooting took place, the AP reported. (RELATED: Tennessee Church Shooting Suspect Is A Sudanese Bodybuilder)
Metro Nashville Police Department Public Affairs Manager Don Aaron answers questions related to the shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on September 24, 2017 in Antioch, Tennessee. (Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
Samson testified he didnt remember most of the shooting — his memory, he said, starts toward the end when he was shot in the chest as a congregant tackled him. Samson said he has mental health disorders and they cause extreme mood swings and memory lapses, and that he experienced them before the shooting, the AP reported.
Prosecutors used the jail calls with his ex-girlfriend to say this memory loss was a “convenient way” of avoiding tough questions on the stand, according to the AP.
Samson had been previously diagnosed with “schizoaffective disorder bipolar type” and post-traumatic stress disorder because of an abusive upbringing, according to an open hearing in April.
During his testimony, Samson also said he had no recollection of writing the note that talked about white supremacist Dylann Roofs 2015 church shooting of black congregants. The note was found in his car outside of the Nashville church after the shooting. Prosecutors said it included a reference to the pan-African flag.
“Dylann Roof is less than nothing,” the note read, Hunter said in court. “The blood that 10 of your kind will shed is that of the color uponRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]