Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker sentenced an Auburn man to 38 years in prison after he was convicted of murdering a 36-year-old man in Opelika.
Marquerious Canada, 30, was found guilty of murder intentional April 13 after Antonio Drisker was shot to death in the Windsor Mobile Home Park in Opelika outside of a friend’s home in July 2018.
During the sentencing hearing, Canada told the judge he was innocent, and members of his family said the same.
“He’s not a killer, and I don’t think he should go to prison for something he didn’t do,” Mary Canada, Canada’s grandmother, said at the hearing.
During Canada’s trial, Lee County Assistant District Attorney Cathey Berardi said the shooting happened after Teddy North, 32, his brother Jerrell North, 31, and Canada attacked Drisker.
“It was the defendant, Marquerious Canada, Teddy and Jerrell. Three on one,” Berardi said. “When I say attack, I mean they were starting to hit him, and at some point Marquerious Canada pulled out a gun and hit Antonio with it.”
Berardi said Drisker tried to get away but was shot by Canada and fell before the three defendants chased him down.
Nearby residents called 911 after Drisker ran into their home suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and needing help, though he died a short time later on their kitchen floor, Lee County District Attorney Pro Tem Jessica Ventiere said in a statement.
During the trial, witnesses testified that Drisker had come to the neighborhood to visit friends, and other witnesses testified that they overheard conversations between Canada and the two other men who were charged in connection to the shooting planning to rob Drisker, Ventiere said.
Opelika investigators collected evidence at the crime scene and sent it for analysis by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences who determined that the evidence tested positive for Canada’s DNA. An eyewitness also testified to Canada being the shooter that claimed the life of Drisker, Ventiere said.
“The jury listened to all of the evidence – the jury’s decision was that you are guilty of murder,” Walker told Canada. “The testimony that we heard in court was, from a key witness, that you were the person who actually fired the weapon.”