Attorneys for a Fulton man convicted of murder for a 2019 drug-related killing near Calwood have filed a motion for a new trial.
Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane will consider the motion at a later date: Judge Crane has scheduled a June 13 sentencing date in Columbia.
50-year-old Justin Witt was convicted in late March for second degree murder, armed criminal action and three other felonies for the death of Nathan Pritchett, a drug dealer who sold meth.
Witt’s attorney argued self-defense at trial, saying Witt shot Pritchett after being threatened. Prosecutors say Witt is a convicted felon who legally cannot have a gun.
939 the Eagle was at the Boone County Courthouse for the trial in late March. Prosecutors say Witt wanted to get high that night in 2019. Witt and two other men planned to purchase meth from Pritchett, according to testimony during the trial. Public defender Kathryn Benson told the jury that Witt used counterfeit money written in Chinese to purchase the meth, and that Pritchett recognized it was counterfeit and told the men he would kill them and pointed a gun three feet away from Witt. Prosecutors say it was a toy gun, but the defense says Witt feared for his life.
The jury deliberated for an hour before returning guilty verdicts against Witt. The case was moved from Callaway to Boone County on a venue change.