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Huntsville police: Blood evidence links suspect to March murder

The man accused of the murder was also shot when it happened.

Posted: Jun 13, 2019 5:42 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2019 7:11 PM

A man accused of a murder in March hobbled into court on crutches on Thursday.

Investigators revealed Marcus McCarver was shot the day police believe he killed Austin Rich.

A Huntsville police investigator testified on the stand that blood evidence left at Brixworth at Bridge Street apartments was a match to Marcus McCarver, and that's why he was arrested for the murder.

McCarver admitted he was there when the shooting happened, but the investigator said he's given different stories about what he was doing there and why he was shot.

In court, the investigator said McCarver knew Rich because the two sold drugs together. McCarver told investigators he was at Rich's girlfriend's apartment to collect a drug debt when the shooting happened, and that's when McCarver was shot by Rich's girlfriend.

McCarver immediately fled to Montgomery and went to a hospital down there to get treatment, and told investigators he disposed of clothes along with the gun he had.

McCarver's attorney, Bruce Gardner, said he plans on on saying his client isn't guilty of murder because the shooting happened in self-defense, and it's still unclear if his client's gun or the victim's gun is the one that delivered the fatal bullet.

"My client, at least in his second statement, said there was a struggle over the weapon at the doorway. Obviously, there was a drug deal. It's all about drug deals going on and drug debt. We can talk all around it, but that's what it was," Gardner said.

The judge found probable cause in the case and sent it to the grand jury. Gardner said he plans on asking that his client be granted bond, because he has been in jail without it since his arrest.

Demorris Lauderdale was originally charged with capital murder for killing Rich. Those charges were later dropped when police realized he was hours away at the time of the murder.

It's unclear why Rich's girlfriend identified Lauderdale as the shooter in a photo line-up. Lauderdale, the original suspect, was known by Rich and his girlfriend. In fact, his driver's license was found inside their apartment when police came to investigate the murder.

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