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A heavily tatted Louisiana man, whose lawyer feared he would be judged by his demonic tattoos, was found guilty of a double murder and sentenced to two life terms.
William Bottoms Jr., 29, was on trial for the 2017 shooting deaths of Dedrick Dewayne Williams, 23, and Mohamed Sead Hussain, 29. Both victims were found dead in the back seat of a car, the Advocate reported.
Earlier this month Bottoms’ lawyer, Jarvis Antwine, evaluated potential jurors by their perception of tattoos during a two-day jury selection process. Bottoms’ tattoos include a depiction of various demons and skull teeth.
“That’s the first thing you see with him,” Antwine said at the time.
During his closing arguments made Friday, he called Bottoms he a “good dude,” as he urged jurors to please not “judge a book by its cover,” according to The Advocate.
Bottoms’ girlfriend Megan Gaylord testified during the trial for the prosecution, stating that she was driving the car when Bottoms, who was sitting in the passenger seat, shot Williams and Hussain in a state of paranoia. She said Bottoms killed both men without provocation shortly after all three bought heroin, the Advocate reports.
The car was later found abandoned with the bodies still in it. Bottoms had his mother, who apparently knew nothing of the murders at the time, follow him and his girlfriend to the dump site so that she could give them a ride back, according to prosecutors.
The prosecution reminded jurors that both victims were shot in the head, Williams twice and Hussain three times.
“This is two of the most senseless murders I’ve ever seen,” prosecutor Dana Cummings said during his closing arguments Friday. “No warning. No reason. It just makes you sick.”
She addressed Antwine's “good dude” comment during her closing argument, “He’s a good guy? He’s a good guy? Does a good guy have his mother follow him to dump two bodies? Does a good guy get his girlfriend involved? Does a good guy shoot two innocent people?”
Antwine called Gaylord's role as star witness for the prosecution, "a deal with the devil," according to the Advocate.
"Who is reaping the benefits of having their charges dismissed? Megan!" he said, adding that it's easier to blame his client because Bottoms is "the one that looks like the devil."
In the end, it appears the jurors sided with the prosecution.
Much of Bottoms’ adult life has been spent behind bars and in court. He has been imprisoned more than three times in the last decade.
His twin brother Lawrence Bottoms, whose face was also heavily tatted, was killed by sheriff’s deputies this year after law enforcement said he pointed a gun at them, WAFB reported. He was wanted at that time on charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
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