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Decatur man pleads guilty to burglary in Park City crime that involved shooting
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Decatur man pleads guilty to burglary in Park City crime that involved shooting

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DECATUR — Zachary D. Batson, who acted as the driver for a crime in which a Decatur woman was shot three times but survived, has appeared in court and pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary.

Batson, 21, previously denied charges of attempted murder and armed home invasion, as well as burglary, but changed his mind in a plea deal negotiated by his lawyer, Andrew Wessler. Appearing in Macon County Circuit Court on Sept. 20, Batson offered his guilty plea in return for the attempted murder and home invasion charges being dropped in the case, which dates to the night of Sept. 20, 2017, in the Park City Mobile Home Community.

Batson, free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14.

Commenting on the case Thursday, Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said he was happy to go along with a plea deal for Batson, who was involved in the overall crime but took no part in the shooting.

“Our main goal in that case was to get Damon L. Davis, who was the one who shot the victim,” said Scott. “There was no indication that any of the other people with him knew or had any inkling Davis was going to shoot anyone. We wanted to make sure we got Davis and he received a lengthy sentence.”

Davis, 20, was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in September 2018 to charges of attempted first-degree murder and home invasion. Another accomplice, Mikayla M. Melton, 19, was sentenced to four years in prison in November 2018, after pleading guilty to two counts of residential burglary.

Sworn Decatur police affidavits connected to the crimes described Batson as driving Davis and Melton to an address in Park City which he suggested would be a good target for a burglary. The 52-year-old woman who was inside at the time had tried to escape and was shot in the chest, right thigh and right forearm, the affidavits said

The three made their escape in his vehicle afterward.


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

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