Nkosi Thandiwe was convicted Thursday of fatally shooting Watts, paralyzing Lauren Garcia and injuring Tiffany Ferenczy.
His mother, Lynnae Thandiwe, pleaded with the judge for mercy.
“He’s not the ‘Midtown Shooter,’” she said. “He’s not a monster. It’s not consistent with who Nkosi is. Nothing can be gained by putting him in jail for the rest of his life.”
Thandiwe was found guilty of all the counts against him and the sentencing phase of the trial began immediately. He was charged with murder, felony murder – causing a death during the commission of a felony – several counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, carjacking and gun offenses.
A juror was dismissed earlier Thursday on the fourth day of Thandiwe’s murder trial, and prosecutors told the court that his July 15, 2011 shooting spree was the result of racism, not insanity as his attorney claimed.
“He told you he shot Brittney Watts, Lauren Garcia and Tiffany Ferenczy because he had adopted all these racist ideals,” Fulton County assistant district attorney Linda Dunikoski said to the jury, referring to Thandiwe’s testimony on Wednesday. “If race disorder was a [mental illness], then the Ku Klux Klan could murder and kill with impunity.”
Public defender Wes Bryant borrowed from the prosecutor’s opening statement to suggest that Thandiwe may have been out of his mind when he shot the women.
“The State got up and said this was a senseless act,” Bryant told the jury. “The State is right, because there is no sense in what happened. In the insane mind of Nkosi Thandiwe, it was the right thing to do.”
Bryant pointed to witnesses – both strangers and acquaintances – who testified seeing Thandiwe while he was committing the shooting, describing his face as “blank,” or “intense” and even saying his client was “driving like a maniac.”
“There’s also the testimony from Mr. Thandiwe describing his out-of-body experience,” Bryant said. “He acted without being able to control what was going on. He said he watched the ‘shooter’ firing senseless shots.”
Reason number 234153478-37 on why I could not be a public defender. Or a lawyer for that matter. I usually avoid posts like this, but why is not Nkosi Thandiwe charged with a hate crime? It fits the description:
“I was trying to prove a point that Europeans had colonized the world, and as a result of that, we see a lot of evil today. In terms of slavery, it was something that needed to be answered for. I was trying to spread the message of making white people mend.”
What is the term for this? Cognitive dissonance? That Nkosi is talking about correcting evil by committing evil. Shades of Django Unchained?