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Two local men convicted of murder

By Michael Butler

Two men, who were teenagers at the time of a 2019 shooting death, have been found guilty of murder charges. Zan'quintavious Hughley and Ladrequez Holloway, both of Tallassee, were convicted of murder and assault in the first degree in Tallapoosa County Circuit Court on Friday.

A sentencing date has been scheduled for June 30. The murder charge carries 10 years to life. The assault with firearms charge carries a maximum sentence of 10-20 years. A judge can make the sentences consecutive or con-current.

The incident occured on July 5, 2019 at the 600th block of North Johnson Street just outdside of the Tallassee city limits. Julio Mercado, a 34-year-old Hispanic male from Freeport, Fla., died after being shot. Tallassee police worked the case.

Former Tallassee Police Chief Matthew Higgins spoke about the situation four years ago, when authorities responded to the scene due to a report of gunfire after a verbal altercation at a family gathering.

"Detectives and patrol took Hughley into custody that night," Higgins stated. "Holloway fled the city. (He) was later located through a joint effort of the Tallassee P.D. and U.S. Marshals and taken into custody."

The trial started on Monday, June 12 and ended on Friday, June 16 in Dadeville. Co-defendents Hughley and Holloway are now 23.

Mike Segrest, district attorney of the 5th judicial circuit, said he wanted to send a message to the people of his district.

"It's not okay for young people to show up at a family gathering and open fire on innocent folks."