A Decatur man charged with murder in a 2016 shooting in Southwest Decatur pleaded guilty Monday, leaving the sentencing decision to Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Brown.

The trial was set to start Monday for Olajuwon Delshawn White, 24, who was charged in the shooting death of Marcus Lashawn White on Dec. 3, 2016. The victim and the defendant were not related.

Though there was no sentencing recommendation from the District Attorney’s Office, “we did agree that if he pleaded guilty to murder, we would drop the drug cases” against White, said Assistant District Attorney Joseph Lewis.

“Our goal was to get a murder conviction and that’s what we got,” Lewis said. He said the DA’s office consulted with Marcus White’s family members during its discussions with Olajuwon White's lawyer.

Griff Belser, who is representing Olajuwon White, said the blind plea — so-called because it included no commitment on sentencing — was “in (White’s) best interests.”

Lewis had earlier told the judge that the state planned to call about 10 witnesses to testify in the case.

“There’s no dispute he shot the victim,” Belser told the judge. “He has maintained throughout it was in self-defense.”

When Brown asked the defendant if he shot the victim, White said, “I did.”

“Was the shooting intentional?” Brown asked. “Yes, it was,” White responded.

Brown said he would issue an order dismissing the drug cases. He did not immediately set a sentencing hearing.

Olajuwon White turned himself in to police about an hour after the shooting and confessed, according to an affidavit. The shooting occurred in the 2900 block of Wimberly Drive Southwest, police said.

Decatur police found Marcus White on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds, and he was transported by ambulance to Decatur Morgan Hospital, where he died, according to police.

According to police, witnesses at the scene identified Olajuwon White as the shooter.

marian.accardi@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_MAccardi.

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