ANDERSON — After deliberating for approximately two hours, a jury found Orlando Sutton guilty on all five charges in connection with the 2018 murder of Bryce Patterson.
Sutton, 21, of Anderson, was found guilty Tuesday evening in Madison Circuit Court Division 3 on two counts of murder, attempted murder and two counts of robbery resulting in bodily injury.
Judge Andrew Hopper set sentencing for 9 a.m. April 27.
There was a heightened presence of Madison County sheriff’s deputies in Hearing Room D where family members and the public could observe the courtroom proceedings.
As Hopper read the verdict, members of both the Patterson and Sutton families displayed strong emotions.
The defendant showed little emotion at the reading of the verdict.
Christi Patterson, the mother of 19-year-old Bryce Patterson, said the verdict gets her son 100% justice.
“It makes it a little more tolerable,” she said. “But it doesn’t bring him back. This will be with me every day of the rest of my life.”
Patterson said, “God is the reason I will make it.
“I pray for the Sutton family,” she continued. “Unfortunately, they are dealing with half of my pain.”
Deputy prosecutors Dan Kopp and Grey Chandler said they were pleased that the jury found Sutton guilty on all five counts.
“I thought the four eyewitness testimony was a key to the case,” Chandler said. “They saw everything that happened.”
Kopp said the physical evidence presented during the trial collaborated with their accounts.
Co-defendant Michael Fleming was sentenced last year by Judge Hopper to serve 55 years in prison on a murder conviction and 30 years for attempted murder. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.
During Monday’s trial after the state rested its case against Sutton, defense attorney John Tompkins presented no evidence to the jury and Sutton didn’t testify.
In his closing statement Tuesday, deputy prosecutor Chandler said the testimony from four witnesses, all who told similar versions of what took place the night Patterson was killed, proved the case.
“The evidence presented supports the eyewitness testimony,” Chandler said.
He said Sutton and Fleming came together from between two houses on West 12th Street, went to the gas station, returned to 12th Street and again traveled between the houses.
“They did this crime together,” Chandler said. “They both knew the plan.”
Chandler said they went back between the houses to obtain the guns used in the planned robbery to steal marijuana from Michael Kincade.
He said 13 shots were fired into or at Patterson’s car, eight of which came from the back of the vehicle where Sutton was standing.
Tompkins, in his closing statement, said the state’s case was based on Kincade’s testimony.
He said Kincade and another witness testified that at one point the marijuana was handed outside the car.
“If there was a conspiracy to steal marijuana, that was the time,” Tompkins said.
Tompkins called the witness testimony a “fish tale” from the start.
He noted that all the people involved went to the gas station where Sutton was supposed to get money from an ATM.
“They could have sold the pot at the gas station or the deal fell through,” Tompkins said. “Why are (Ryan) Green and Kincade hanging out with two guys that stiffed them? We don’t know why they hung around for two hours.”
Tompkins said the drug deal should have been completed before Patterson arrived to help Green change a flat tire.
“We need to know the rest of the story that Green won’t tell you,” he said.
According to Anderson police affidavits, Patterson had helped his friend, Green, with a flat tire the day he was shot and killed around 10 p.m. in the 800 block of West 12th Street in August 2018.
Sutton allegedly contacted Green on Snapchat to purchase about $550 worth of marijuana. Green, in turn, reached out to his brother, Kincade, who obtained it. An arrangement was made to meet Sutton that evening.
Sutton reportedly told Green he needed to get cash. On the way to the gas station they had a flat tire and Green called Patterson to help them change the tire.
They returned to 12th Street where Sutton and Fleming got out of one vehicle and walked toward an alley, but then walked up to Patterson’s car, according to the affidavit.
They reportedly demanded money yelling “give me all you have,” and then began firing into the vehicle.