A Gadsden County jury found 21-year-old Cortez Hatten guilty of manslaughter. It took less than three hours Sept. 20 for the jury to return the verdict in the shooting death of Kenneth Moran.
Hatten was originally charged with five felonies: count 1, second-degree murder; counts two and three, attempted second-degree murder; count four, aggravated assault with a firearm; and count five, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was found not guilty of counts two and four.
The charges stem from a shooting in Midway in April 2010 that left one man dead and another wounded. Moran died several hours after the shooting from a gunshot wound to the head. The incident took place in the middle of the street where several people were gathered in the Midway Forest Mobile Home Park off High Bridge and Peters Roads.
Another man, Anthony Chavers, was wounded during the same shooting with the same bullet. According to a report released by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, the bullet entered Chavers’ left shoulder and exited his back before hitting Moran in the head.
Barbara Hobbs, Hatten’s attorney, argued her client was defending himself when he shot Chavers. None of the witnesses testified Chavers ever had a firearm.
Hatten will be sentenced Oct. 12 and could receive the maximum of 25 years to between 25 years to life.