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Cody Burries pleads guilty to Decatur murder, gets 18-year prison sentence

Cody Burries pleads guilty to Decatur murder, gets 18-year prison sentence


DECATUR — Cody M. Burries was sentenced to 18 years in prison for inflicting fatal gunshot wounds on a victim in the parking lot of a Decatur bar more than a year ago.

Burries had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges in the April 7, 2019, murder of 32-year-old Marcel Whitfield outside Feeling Lucky Lounge & Package, 3775 N. Woodford St.

His case had been scheduled for trial in July, but Burries, 31, opted to take a plea deal negotiated by his defense attorney, Michelle Sanders. Burries appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on June 10 and pleaded guilty to a newly filed count of second degree murder. Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Mike Baggett agreed to drop three alternate charges of first degree murder against Burries and a further charge accusing him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Judge Phoebe Bowers accepted the plea change and dismissed the dropped charges. She ordered the 18-year sentence to be served at 50 percent, which means Burries will get day-for-day credit. She also gave him credit for time spent in jail from May 11, 2019 until June 9 of this year.

Decatur police reports about the killing of Whitfield said he had been sitting in a vehicle when he was shot in the chest and thigh around 1:39 a.m. Eye-witnesses described him staggering into the bar seeking help and getting assistance from bar staff.

“He came in the door shot, and our staff took care of him, putting pressure on his chest (to try and control bleeding) while we waited for first responders to make it here,” Troy Chastain, a son of the owners of Feeling Lucky, told the Herald & Review at the time of the shooting. “My security had called 911 as soon as he came in the door.”

Police had initially thought Whitfield would survive his wounds but Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day later said Whitfield went into cardiac arrest following surgery and was pronounced dead after lengthy resuscitation efforts.

Detectives never commented on a motive for the murder but soon announced they were seeking Burries, and a warrant for his arrest had been issued the day after the murder. He was arrested May 1, 2019 in Tiptonville, Tennessee.

2020 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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