Former Marine Gets Life In Prison For Murders

A judge decided to give the maximum sentence of life in prison with no parole for a former Camp Lejeune Marine, less than an hour after the jury found him guilty of killing two men.

Jurors returned a guilty verdict on 2 counts of first degree murder for Jarrell Wilson about 7:00pm Tuesday. Wilson was sentenced to two life sentences to be served concurrently. His attorney says he plans to appeal the verdict.

Wilson was found guilty of killing 24-year-old Gabriel Ape and 23-year-old Christopher Watts. The two men were shot to death in a parking lot behind the Northwoods Shopping Center last year.

Wilson's defense completed its case Tuesday morning and closing arguments from lawyers began shortly before 1:00 p.m. The judge gave jurors final instructions before they began deliberating around 3:15 p.m.

Wilson testified Monday that he feared for his life when the shooting took place. Wilson told jurors that he was dating Ape's sister and said that Watts, who was the woman's ex-boyfriend, was after him.


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A man on trial for the deaths of two Jacksonville men took the witness stand in his own defense.

Jarrell Wilson, a former Marine Corps cook, is accused of murdering 24-year-old Gabriel Ape and 23-year-old Christopher Watts. The two men were killed in a parking lot behind the Northwoods Shopping Center last year.

Wilson testified that he feared for his life when the shooting took place. Wilson told jurors that he was dating Ape's sister and said that Watts did not like him and was after him.

Wilson said Ape confronted him that night about the $60 he owed him over a cellphone that broke and said he shot the two in self defense.

If convicted Wilson could be sentenced to life in prison.


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A superior court judge has refused to reduce charges against a former Camp Lejeune Marine who is accused of killing two people.

The double murder trial of Jarrell Wilson entered its second week Monday with the state calling its last witnesses and then resting.

Jarrell's lawyer tried to get the first degree murder charge reduced to second degree murder or felony murder, but the judge denied that motion.

Wilson, who was a former Marine cook, is on trial for the July 2009 shooting deaths of 24-year-old Gabriel Ape and 23-year-old Christopher Watts. The two men were killed in a parking lot behind the Northwoods Shopping Center.

If convicted, Wilson faces life in prison without parole.


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Thursday was day two of testimony in the double murder trial of a former Camp Lejuene Marine accused of killing two men last year.24-year-old Jarrell Wilson is charged with two counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of 24-year-old Gabriel Ape and 23-year-old Christopher Watts.

In court Thursday emergency medical workers testified and described Ape and Watts' gunshot wounds. The Onlsow County medical examiner said Watts was shot in the face at point blank range. Ape was shot at close range in the chest. Tears were shed by several family members as the jury was shown pictures of Ape and Watts lying dead in the parking lot behind the Northwoods Shopping Center in July 2009.

If convicted, Wilson faces life in prison without parole.


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  • by Anonymous on May 24, 2011 at 01:43 PM
    Just because someone serves in the military doesnt give him a free pass to kill on the streets. This Marine was a thug and acted like it in uniform so it really doesnt surprise me that he is serving a life sentence. He would threaten people for talking trash playing basketball. Even if he feared for his life there was a way out and that was to drive away, not to follow someone behind a plaza and then shoot them. So I dont feel the least bit sorry for someone like. Coming from a Marine that still serves.
  • by A"R/JARRELL COUSIN Location: DETROIT on Dec 2, 2010 at 01:10 AM
    JERODE_TURNER@YAHOO.COM
  • by Demoney Location: DETROIT on Nov 27, 2010 at 01:20 PM
    out of all the loss steps forward 3 mothers with A hole a very deep, hole, I see the hole in my friend tonya,s eye,s and I know the same reflects from the eye,s of the other two mother,s yet still thay stand on strong leggs held up by the glory of GOD and the fact you tryed mothers you tryed. For that we salute you,mothers on the front line of raising boys to be men.We should never forget that the best trainers have had to do it alone and thats no marines tail, its the tail of life.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 27, 2010 at 12:50 PM
    Mike from Jax nov 23 if not the stupid WHO do we forgive? the ones that push death as A way to even the game. well here is my tip of the day to you,to be given life and born free to serve and come home and go serve 1 more time, only to start serving a life sentence at 24 thats a death sentence, you see it like sleep walking behind them bars, waitting to wake up the rest of your life.
  • by Demoney Location: DETROIT on Nov 26, 2010 at 02:09 PM
    Knowing jarrell and his sisters,and aunts over 20 years I to feel the pain.The mother of the two young men feel the pain.We all should share some blame.1 young man gives us 2 tours over seas and a life sentence,here and two other young men lose there life not given life itself much.I only hope that other young men out there get the massage, SOME HANDS NEED TO BE FOLDED,1 NEVER PLAY A DEAD HAND 2 COULD A PHONE Be WORTH IT 3 it will never add UP.YOU DONT HAVE TO Be a PUNK TO RUN,SOMETIMES IT IS THR RIGHT THING TO DO
  • by Anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 08:29 AM
    Diamond, Gabriel, Jarrell, Gwen, nor Watts thought about the innocent children involved in all of this! If only they would have took a second to put the little people first....................... God, Please Provide for These Children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by 40some Location: jville on Nov 23, 2010 at 06:40 PM
    Wilson stood his ground and so did watts and ape. Right or wrong or was it the principal of the matter. Or was it who was going to be the punk and run. They all proved their point and now two are dead and one's in prison for life. Was it worth it?
  • by Mike Location: Jax on Nov 23, 2010 at 05:44 PM
    karen: this is not self defense. If he truely wanted to defend himself, he would have backed up and regrouped. If he were a quality Marine he would of obeyed his orders to restriction to base. He should've gotten death. No sympathy for young stupid Marines. No sympathy for stupid old ones either. Nite
  • by WOW Location: Prison on Nov 23, 2010 at 04:57 PM
    LIFE in prison is a long time. It's just torture. I would have to kill myself..geeeez. This is exactly why I stay in my house after dark...with 2 loaded shotguns and 2 pistols. Not looking for trouble and hoping none comes looking for me. Snuggling with my beautiful wife..maybe prison would be better if all prisoners had a wife to sleep with.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2010 at 04:51 PM
    That is not 1st degree murder, that's manslaughter at the most. Jim Crow is alive and well here in the south.
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